Fact Check

Does PM Modi’s Concern Over the Violence in the US Amount to Meddling in Internal Affairs?

As an unruly mob created chaos and violence at the Capitol Hill of Washington DC, the high seat of power of the United States of America (USA), India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to express India’s concern over the ugly turn of events ahead of the power transfer in the US.

Being the elected leader of the world’s largest democracy, it is natural that PM Modi expressed concerns about the Capitol Hill siege and hoped for a peaceful transfer of power within the democratic norms.

Contention of the So-called Experts and Commentariats

A few opinion makers in India and abroad have questioned PM Modi on this particular issue. Their contention is this – Does PM Modi have locus-standi on commenting on issues pertained to the US? How can India protest against other countries who aired their opinion on issues like CAA and Kashmir, if it chooses to comment on the affairs of the US? Samples of such arguments can be seen here and here.

Why These Contentions Are Illogical

Be it CAA or farm laws or the abrogation of Article 370 – all such laws are passed by the Parliament using the provisions of India’s Constitution. If any foreign administration speaks against the will of the duly elected parliament, India has every right to ask them not to meddle with the internal affairs.

In contrast, what has unfolded at the Capitol Hill of Washington DC can be termed as social and political unrest which by any viewpoint would be deemed to be against democratic norms. By signalling India’s concerns with the happenings in America, PM Modi is standing with the will of the people and the ideals of the Constitution of that democratic country. How can standing with the ideals of the US democracy that elected a new President some months ago amount to “meddling with internal matters” of another country?

It is only astonishing that who comes in the category of ‘intellectuals’, ‘foreign affairs experts/journalists’ don’t know this simple difference.

Hypocrisy & ‘Damn If you Do….’ Attitude

If PM Modi had remained silent on the chaos at Capitol Hill, what would be the reaction of many “intellectuals” and “Opinionmakers” who are now questioning the ‘locus standi’ of PM Modi? It is perhaps not difficult to guess. “PM Modi remained silent as the mob allegedly support his ‘friend’ Trump went on rampage” these opinionmakers would have simply found an opportunity to deride PM Modi in such situation. This is what the “Damn if you do, damn if you don’t” attitude is about which the political opposition in India follows often.

At another level, many who are expressing outrage against Trump at this moment on social media can be seen endorsing all kinds of anarchy on the streets of India in the name of Naxal movement, anti-CAA protests etc.

Manish Tewari of Congress party has used this instance to lend some sermons on social media on democracy and the danger of right-wing politics. Fact remains that in India, the last person to try and meddle with democracy by refusing a peaceful transfer of power was Indira Gandhi of Congress party.

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