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LS polls: Dr. Jaishankar slams the West, and its media, for dishing “gyan” to India

LS polls: Dr. Jaishankar slams the West, and its media, for dishing “gyan” to India

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Virendra Pandit

New Delhi: Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi revealed that some foreign countries were not just influencing but trying to ‘interfere’ in India’s ongoing Lok Sabha polls, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar hit out at the West and its media for dishing out unsolicited “gyan” to the world’s largest democracy.

The Western countries feel they have influenced the world for 200 years and India does not fit their idea of being compliant, Dr. Jaishankar said at an event in Kolkata on Tuesday, the media reported.

Asked about reports in the Western media painting a grim picture of India, he said it was an “old habit” of the Western countries to influence the world.

“They want to influence us because many of these countries feel they have influenced this world for the last 70-80 years. The Western countries actually feel that they influenced the world for the last 200 years. How do you expect someone who has been in that position to give up those old habits so easily?” he asked.

Without naming the US, Dr. Jaishankar also quipped that countries that have to go to court to decide the result of their elections are now “giving you gyan (lecture) on how to conduct your elections.”

At the end of the day, they are seeing an India that is “not in a sense compliant” with their image of how India should be, he said.

“The Western media in some cases have openly endorsed candidates and political parties in the country. They don’t hide their preference. They are very smart,” the External Affairs Minister said.

They will reputationally damage you, they will bring out an index and put you down,” Dr. Jaishankar added.

He also slammed the Western media for their ‘negative coverage’ of Indian elections and told them not to preach to India on how to conduct polls.

Speaking at the launch of the Bangla edition of his book “Why Bharat Matters” in Kolkata. Dr. Jaishankar also brushed aside the criticism by certain Western media platforms that raised questions about the Lok Sabha elections 2024, calling it a ‘mind game’ going on in the world at present.

The Western countries want a certain ‘class of people’ at the helm of affairs in India and feel ‘disturbed’ when Indians think differently.
“Why are these people so negative about India?” he wondered, adding it was because they are getting to see an India which is not what they think should be like.


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