NEW DELHI: Hours after the Biden Administration reacted to the farmer protests, India on Thursday said the comments must be seen in their entirety, and appeared to compare the reactions and sentiments in the country after incidents of violence and vandalism at the Red Fort on January 26 to those following the recent clashes at the US’ Capitol Hill.
At a media briefing, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said any protests must be seen in the context of India’s democratic ethos and polity, and the ongoing efforts of the government and the concerned farmer groups to resolve the impasse.
“The incidents of violence and vandalism at the historic Red Fort on January 26 have evoked similar sentiments and reactions in India as did the incidents on the Capitol Hill on 6 January and are being addressed as per our respective local laws,” he said.
In its first reaction to the ongoing farmers’ agitation, the new US administration on Thursday said it encourages that any differences between the parties be resolved through dialogue even as it backed steps that can improve the efficiency of India’s markets and attract greater investment.
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The US also said peaceful protests and unhindered access to the internet are “hallmarks” of a “thriving democracy”. “We have taken note of comments of the US State Department. It is important to see such comments in the context in which they were made and in their entirety,” he said.
Srivastava said both India and the United States are vibrant democracies with shared values. “The temporary measures with regard to internet access in certain parts of the NCR region were therefore understandably undertaken to prevent further violence,” Srivastava added.
The MEA spokesperson said the US state department has acknowledged the steps being taken by India towards agricultural reforms. “Any protests must be seen in the context of India’s democratic ethos and polity, and the ongoing efforts of the government and the concerned farmer groups to resolve the impasse,” he said.