S Jaishankar Criticizes Western Media for Disparaging India's Democracy Ahead of 2024 Elections

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar strongly criticizes Western media for unfair criticism of India's democracy, accusing them of considering themselves political players in the upcoming 2024 elections.

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S Jaishankar Criticizes Western Media for Disparaging India's Democracy Ahead of 2024 Elections

S Jaishankar Criticizes Western Media for Disparaging India's Democracy Ahead of 2024 Elections

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has strongly criticized Western media outlets for their unfair criticism of India's democracy in the lead-up to the 2024 Indian general elections. Speaking at a forum in Hyderabad, Jaishankar stated that the Western media is criticizing India's democratic processes not due to a lack of information, but because they consider themselves as political players in the country's elections.

Jaishankar expressed his concerns about the portrayal of India's electoral system by certain Western media outlets, arguing that they have been undermining the country's democratic institutions. He cited examples of false claims made by the Western press, such as questioning the timing of elections due to the ongoing heatwave in India. Jaishankar emphasized that India's lowest voter turnout is higher than the West's highest turnout, refuting the notion that weather conditions would dissuade Indian voters.

The External Affairs Minister also addressed the Western media's tendency to raise questions about India's electronic voting machines (EVMs) and the Election Commission, which have faced criticism from activists and the opposition. He warned that these media outlets will persist in making such allegations as part of their attempts to intrude in India's domestic politics.

Why this matters: Jaishankar's remarks highlight the growing concerns over the Western media's coverage of the Indian elections, which has focused on issues such as Hindu nationalism and the suppression of minorities. The criticism of India's democratic processes by foreign media outlets has significant implications for the country's global image and its relations with Western nations.

Jaishankar asserted that Indians should not be subjected to second-class treatment in other countries and that the upcoming election is a "vote of confidence" for the nation, society, and future generations. He praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi's global stature and India's prominent role on the world stage, noting the interest from various countries in connecting and working with India during its G20 presidency.

The External Affairs Minister's comments come amid growing scrutiny of India's democratic institutions by international observers. The US State Department's annual human rights assessment recently alleged instances of the Indian government pressuring or harassing media outlets critical of the government, allegations that the Indian government has rejected as politically motivated.

As India prepares for the crucial 2024 general elections, Jaishankar's strong response to the Western media's criticism underscores the government's determination to defend the country's democratic processes and assert its confidence in the electoral system. The elections are expected to be a significant test for India's democratic resilience and the government's performance, with the world closely watching the outcome.

Key Takeaways

  • EAM Jaishankar criticizes Western media for unfair criticism of India's democracy.
  • Jaishankar says Western media sees itself as a political player in Indian elections.
  • Jaishankar refutes Western media's claims about India's electoral system and voter turnout.
  • Jaishankar warns Western media will persist in making allegations to intrude in India's politics.
  • 2024 Indian elections to be a test for India's democratic resilience, with global attention.