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Stop calling Sikhs names, new FDI in country — foreign destructive ideology, says PM Modi

Hitting out 'parasite' protesters, PM Modi in Rajya Sabha makes oblique reference to foreign celebrities backing farmers’ protests, asks farmers to give new laws a chance.

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday tried to end the discourse around the farmers’ protests being allegedly fuelled by Sikh separatist elements. Addressing the Rajya Sabha during the discussion on the motion of thanks for the President’s speech to Parliament, Modi slammed those calling Sikh agitators names, saying it won’t do the country any good.

But he also directed some remarks towards those he called “andolan-jeevi” or professional protesters, also making references to “par-jeevi” (parasite) and the social media outrage over the farmer agitation by Western celebrities, calling it “FDI — foreign destructive ideology”.

Modi appealed to the protesting farmers to give the three farm laws passed by his government last September a chance, assured them that the minimum support price (MSP) and government procurements regime is here to stay, and requested them to end their protest and “send the elderly home”.

The PM also offered the farmers around the capital more talks with the government to make changes to the laws, as “no law is permanent and shortcomings can be rectified through talks”. He cited his predecessors Lal Bahadur Shastri, Charan Singh and Manmohan Singh, as well as Hindi poet Maithili Sharan Gupt in his speech, and also attacked the opposition for fuelling confusion in farmers’ minds about the laws.

Modi said: “Manmohan Singh cited rigidities in our marketing regime which prevent farmers from selling their produce. You (Singh’s party, Congress) should be proud of this fact that what your prime minister has proposed, Modi is doing. I am astonished that you have taken a U-turn.

“In the debate (in Parliament on these laws last year), nobody talked about the intent of the law; many mentioned procedures, full stops, commas… If there is any shortcoming, we will rectify. Give the laws a chance, end the agitation… There are many elderly people sitting in protest; send them home, come and talk. MSP was there. MSP is there. MSP will remain in the future.”

Also read: Modi govt has lost farm laws battle, now raising Sikh separatist bogey will be a grave error

‘Nation proud of every Sikh’

The protests against the laws originated in Punjab, with many Sikh farmers and leaders at the helm. They have time and again been labelled as those backed by Sikh extremists, many times by supporters of the laws and members of the ruling BJP. But Modi sought to shut down this talk, while at the same time hinting that the Sikh farmers have been misguided.

“India is very proud of the contribution of Sikhs. This is a community that has done so much for the nation. The words and blessings of the Guru Sahibs are precious. The language used by some for them and attempts to mislead them will never benefit the nation,” he said.

“We mustn’t forget what happened with Punjab. It suffered the most during Partition. It cried the most during the 1984 riots. They became victims of the most painful incidents. Innocents were killed in Jammu and Kashmir. And the business of weapons was carried out in the Northeast. All this affected the nation,” the PM added.

Parasites and the new FDI’

Taking on his political opponents, Modi reminded MPs that when India’s second prime minister, Congress’ Lal Bahadur Shastri, decided to implement the Green Revolution in India, there were massive protests and he was even labelled an American agent. Even the Planning Commission had opposed its implementation. “Thousands protested, but Shastri ji did not bow to pressure,” he said.

Then, he spoke out against ‘andolan-jeevis’, who can be seen at every agitation on any issues, whether it is to do with students or farmers. “These par-jeevis (parasites) feast on every agitation,” he said.

Then, making an oblique reference to celebrities like singer-songwriter Rihanna and climate activist Greta Thunberg who’ve been tweeting their support for the farmers’ agitation, Modi said there is a need to protect the nation from a “new FDI” — foreign destructive ideology.

“The nation is making progress and we are talking about FDI, but I see a new kind of FDI has come to the fore. We need FDI, but we need to protect the country from this new FDI,” he said.

Small farmers vs big farmers 

Modi also seemed to try and position the new farm laws as a small farmers-versus-big farmers issue, similar to when he positioned the 2016 demonetisation of large denomination currency notes as a fight against the rich who don’t pay income tax and have amassed black money.

Reeling out statistics, the PM said over two-third of farmers have small landholdings and the new laws give them the freedom to sell their produce anywhere, helping to realise the best prices.

Modi also quoted another of his predecessors as PM, Chaudhary Charan Singh, whose son Ajit Singh’s party Rashtriya Lok Dal is attracting big crowds in western UP and uniting Jats and Muslims against the farm bills.

“Charan Singh ji said in 1977 that 51 per cent farmers were marginal, had less than two bigha land, and didn’t get any facilities. Their numbers have risen to 68 per cent. Have we have no responsibility towards those 12 crore small farmers? Even Charan Singh’s followers have left them, and the benefits of every scheme have gone to large farmers — they benefit from debt waivers, receive free electricity, farmers’ credit card,” he said.

“But after assuming power, we have ensured that benefits reach small marginal farmers too. We have included small farmers in the credit card scheme and launched Kisan Samman Nidhi for them,” Modi added.

Also read: Kamala Harris’ niece Meena gives Twitter lessons on India’s democracy and ‘anti-blackness’


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  1. Hilarious, Modi coins a new acronym FDI = foreign destructive ideology. Since there is no foreign direct investment !

    Mani Shankar Aiyar was right that Modi has a chai wallah’s brain in a PM’s suit and a Tagore beard !

  2. TS Darbari – In an era of “fake news,” where misinformation is spread through different types of media to intentionally deceive voters, foreign political interference and its opaqueness have become dangerous and far-reaching threats to democracy. In June 2018, Australia passed sweeping legislation to combat foreign interference in politics, resulting in the most significant counterintelligence overhaul in decades. Such moves are necessary though it does not mean to terminate freedom of speech; however the micro-blogging sites must take the responsbility to chech the spread of misinformation. Who is TS Darbari ? –
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