India slams British MPs over ‘one-sided’ debate on farmers’ protest, media freedom
The Indian High Commission’s statement came after a British Parliamentarians’ debate triggered by an e-petition
India on Tuesday took strong exception to a few British lawmakers’ debate in the Westminster Committee Room on Monday over the ongoing farmers’ protest and freedom of media in the country, stating it was a one-sided discussion packed with false assertions.
“The High Commission of India has taken note of a distinctly one-sided discussion among a group of H’ble UK Parliamentarians in a Westminster Committee Room in response to an e-petition campaign on an India-related issue,” the London-based Indian High Commission said in a statement issued immediately after the debate in the House of Commons.
It further said that “The High Commission of India has been over a period of time, taking care to inform all concerned about the issue raised in the petition.”
Expressing unhappiness over the biased debate of the British lawmakers, the High Commission said, “We deeply regret that rather than a balanced debate, false assertions-without substantiation or facts-were made, casting aspersions on the largest functioning democracy in the world and its institutions.”
Setting the record straight, the Indian High Commission said, “All issues raised are remit of well-established independent democratic institutions in India for addressing the same. It is also a matter of concern that, once again, comments were made to mislead the British Indian community, raising doubts about treatment of minorities in India, alleged human rights violations in ‘Kashmir’etc.”
The debate, participated by lawmakers from the Labour party and the ruling Conservative party, also focused on media freedom in India. Rebutting prejudiced statements of the British MPs on the lack of press freedom, the High Commission categorically stated, “Foreign media, including the British media, are present in India and have witnessed the events under discussion first-hand. The lack of freedom of the media in India does not arise.”
“High Commission of India would normally refrain from commenting on an internal discussion involving a small group of H'ble Parliamentarians in a limited quorum. However, when aspersions are cast on India by anyone, irrespective of their claims of friendship and love for India or domestic political compulsions, there is a need to set the record straight,” the High Commission said.