External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Sunday that the West has a bad habit of commenting on others, PTI reported.
He made the statement in the context of remarks by Germany and the United States about Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification from Parliament. The minister was speaking at an event organised by Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya and Bengaluru Central MP PC Mohan at the city’s Cubbon Park.
“...The West has had a bad habit for a long time of commenting on others,” Jaishankar said in response to a question about the statements of the two countries. “They somehow think it is some kind of God-given right. They will have to learn only by experience that if you keep doing this, other people will also start commenting and they will not like it when it happens. I see that happening.”
The minister added that Indians should also stop “giving generous invitations” to the world to comment about the country. “So if somebody from here goes and says ‘why are you standing by and saying nothing’, then obviously they are going to comment,” he said. “Part of the problem is them, part of the problem is us. And I think both need fixing.”
On March 23, a Gujarat court had sentenced Gandhi to two years imprisonment in a criminal defamation case. He was found guilty in a case related to his speech ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in which he referred to thieves as having the surname Modi.
A week later, a German foreign ministry spokesperson said at a press briefing that the country had taken note of the verdict. The spokesperson said that Germany “expects that the standards of judicial independence and fundamental democratic principles will apply” in the case.
On March 27, a senior United States official said that the country is watching Gandhi’s case in Indian courts. The official said that the rule of law and judicial independence constitute the cornerstone of a democracy, and that Washington would continue to engage with India “on our shared commitment to democratic values, including, freedom of expression”.