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'How come our government comments on global issues?'

By SUBHASH K JHA
February 06, 2021 09:12 IST
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IMAGE: Farmers plant plants near the spikes fixed by the police at the Ghazipur border in New Delhi. Photograph: Vijay Verma/PTI Photo

Swara Bhasker fails to understand why American pop star Rihanna or Swedish environmentalist Greta Thunberg tweeting on our farmers' protest should be considered an internal matter.

"We need to address the issue of what is an internal issue. Is injustice in any part of the world an internal issue? Because if it is, then we should not discuss anything except what happens within the boundaries of our own countries, states, cities and mohallas," Swara tells Subhash K Jha.

Swara wants Indians to get out of their self-imposed citadels.

"We can't be that self-centred. When George Floyd was murdered and the 'Black Lives Matter' movement happened, our celebrities were regularly tweeting on it," she adds.

 

Swara wonders why the government does not restrict its comments on external matters if the farmers' protest is an internal matter.

"Our government regularly issues statements on happenings around the world, the most recent being the coup in Myanmar. How come our government comments on global issues we don't think of internal matters?" she asks.

Swara feels a free flow of opinion and information is the order of the day.

"I think this is an era of technology and communication. All information is accessible to everyone at all times. People everywhere know what is happening around the world and they express that opinion. And that's the way it should be. What is wrong with that?"

The actress-activist feels the farmers' issue has become a global discussion because of the way it was handled.

"I think the farmers' protest has become a large global issue because of the way our government has responded to it," Swara says.

"If you notice, a lot of international celebrities are talking about the Internet blackout, the crackdown on farmers and the militarisation of Delhi borders. They are not commenting on the farm laws per se," Swara points out. "They are commenting on the way the farmers are being treated, and I don't understand why that is a problem."

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