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Kiren Rijiju Slams 'international Propaganda Against India' Amid Row Over Rihanna's Tweet

Union Minister Kiren Rijiju called out the "international propaganda" run on social media to defame India, after Rihanna, Greta and others commented on farmers

Farmers protest

Union Minister Kiren Rijiju on Wednesday called out the "international propaganda" being run on social media to defame India, after a few foreign individuals, including celebrities, commented on the ongoing farmers’ stir in the national capital.

Reacting to a statement released by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), in which it condemned the unsolicited remarks by foreign entities, Rijiju said, "For thousands of years India was defeated, occupied, looted and ruled by invaders, not because India was weak but there was always a Jaichand."

"We need to ask who’s behind this international propaganda to defame India," he said on Twitter.

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In a statement released on Wednesday, the MEA urged people to ascertain facts gain a proper understanding of issues at hand before rushing to comment on the country's internal matters.     

"Temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments, especially when resorted to by celebrities and others, is neither accurate nor responsible," the statement said.    

India's statement came after international pop star Rihanna, climate activist Greta Thunberg, American Vice President Kamala Harris' niece Meena Harris and others meddled in India's farmers' stir. The ministry also used the hashtags - #IndiaTogether and #IndiaAgainstPropaganda. 

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'Vested interest groups trying to enforce their agenda'

IIn its statement, the MEA clarified that the Parliament of India passed reformist legislation relating to the agricultural sector after a full debate and discussion. It noted that the reforms give expanded market access and provide greater flexibility to farmers, paving the way for economically and ecologically sustainable farming.

"A very small section of farmers in parts of India have some reservations about these reforms. Respecting the sentiments of the protestors, the Government of India has initiated a series of talks with their representatives. Union Ministers have been part of the negotiations, and eleven rounds of talks have already been held. The Government has even offered to keep the laws on hold, and offer iterated by no less than the Prime Minister of India," the statement read. 

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"Yet, it is unfortunate to see vested interest groups trying to enforce their agenda on these protests, and derail them. This was egregiously witnessed on January 26, India’s Republic Day. A cherished national commemoration, the anniversary of the inauguration of the Constitution of India, was besmirched, and violence and vandalism took place in the Indian capital," it added.

Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana, and western Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting at the national capital's borders for over two months against the laws. The agitation took the worst turn after a group of protesters undertaking a tractor parade in the capital on Republic Day engaged in violence with Delhi Police personnel and vandalised public property before stormed the historic Red Fort.

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