EAM S Jaishankar’s ‘gyan’ dig at Western media over Indian elections: ‘Countries that go to court…’ | Latest News India

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By Mahtab Ahmad

External affairs minister S Jaishankar has hit out at the Western media over the “negative” coverage of Indian elections, saying the countries that “have to go to court for deciding election results” are giving “gyan” on conducting polls.

External affairs minister S Jaishankar addresses a press conference.(ANI file)
External affairs minister S Jaishankar addresses a press conference.(ANI file)

S Jaishankar also claimed that the Western countries “feel” they have influenced the world for the last 200 years, so they cannot give up their “old habits so easily”.

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Interacting with the audience after the launch of the Bangla edition of his book ‘Why Bharat Matters’ in Kolkata, S Jaishankar said, “They (Western countries) do want to influence us because many of these countries feel that they have influenced this world for the last 70-80 years…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.”

Jaishankar claimed that the Western media want a certain “class of people” to rule the country and feel “disturbed” when the Indian electorate doesn’t feel the same way.

Jaishanakar was responding to a question on allegations made against India by Canada and the US of poll interference, and conducting operations on foreign soil.

“Why are these newspapers so negative on India? Because they see an India that is not in a sense compliant with their image of how India should be. They want people, ideology, or a way of life…they want that class of people to rule this country, and they are disturbed when the Indian population feels otherwise,” Jaishankar said at the event.

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The minister also alleged that Western media, at times, “openly endorsed candidates and political parties”.

“The Western media, in some cases, have openly endorsed candidates and political parties, they don’t hide their preference. They are very smart, somebody is doing this domination game for 300 years, they learn a lot, anubhavi log hain, chatur log hain (they are experienced and clever people),” he said.

Describing it as a “mind game,” Jaishankar took a dig at the West, pointing out that nations resorting to legal avenues to determine election outcomes are now lecturing India.

“They (newspapers) will reputationally damage you, somebody will bring out an index and put you down in that… The countries which have to go to court to decide the result of their election are giving us gyan about how to conduct the election. This is the mind game that is happening in the world,” Jaishankar said.

Jaishankar subtly alluded to the ongoing legal dispute initiated by Donald Trump in his attempt to reverse the 2020 US Presidential election results, where Joe Biden defeated him.

Jaishankar on US sanction warning after Chabahar Port deal

Responding to a question on the US warning of “potential risk of sanctions” after India inked a 10-year agreement for running the Chabahar Port in Iran, Jaishankar said the project would benefit the entire region, and people should not take a “narrow view” of it.

He also pointed out that the US itself had appreciated the larger relevance of Chabahar in the past.

“I did see some of the remarks which were made, but I think it’s a question of communicating, convincing and getting people to understand, that this is actually for everyone’s benefit. I don’t think people should take a narrow view of it,” news agency ANI quoted Jaishankar as saying.

“They (US) have not done so in the past. So, if you look at the US’ own attitude towards the port in Chabahar, the US has been appreciative of the fact that Chabahar has a larger relevance…we will work at it,” he added.

Earlier on Tuesday, the US warned that “anyone” considering business deals with Tehran needs to be aware of the “potential risk of sanctions”.

(With inputs from agencies)

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