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Countries that go to court for deciding poll results giving us 'gyan': Jaishankar's swipe at Western media

May 15, 2024 10:39 AM

Kolkata : Slamming the Western media over the "negative" coverage of Indian elections, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that the countries which "have to go to court for deciding election results" are giving "gyan" on conducting polls.

Taking a swipe, he said the Western countries "feel" they have influenced the world for the last 200 years, so they are not able to give up their "old habits so easily."

The EAM was speaking at an interaction after the launch of the Bangla edition of his book 'Why Bharat Matters' in Kolkata on Tuesday.
"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 for someone who has been in that position to give up those old habits so easily," the EAM said at the event.

He said 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.

"Why these newspapers are so negative on India? Because they are seeing an India which 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.

He also emphasized that the Western media at times "openly endorsed candidates and political parties."
"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)," the EAM said.

Terming this as "mind game", Jaishankar took a jibe at the West and said the countries who go to court to decide election results are giving lectures to India.

"They (newspapers) will reputationally damage you, somebody will bring out an index and put you down in that...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," he further said.

Further appreciating the turnout in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections despite extreme heat, Jaishankar said, "Even in this election, I am looking at the commentary. In this country, even in the hottest summer, look at the percentage of people who come to vote."
Earlier too, Jaishankar criticized the Western media over its negative portrayal of Indian democracy,

"I get a lot of these noises from the Western press and if they criticize our democracy, it's not because they lack information. It is because they think they are also political players in our election," he said at a forum for nationalist thinkers in Hyderabad in April.

Citing an article questioning the timing of the Indian election during the heatwave, Jaishankar said, "Now I read that article and I wanted to say listen, in that heat, my lowest turnout is higher than your highest turnout in the best run."

The Lok Sabha Elections 2024 is being held across seven phases. The counting of votes is scheduled for June 4.
The first four phases were held on April 19, April 26, May 7, and 13. While, the remaining phases will take place on May 20, May 27, and June 1.


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