EAM S Jaishankar calls out Western media's 'gyan' on Indian elections

S. Jaishankar asserted that Western nations have a sense of having wielded influence globally for the past two centuries, which makes it challenging for them to readily abandon their entrenched practices.

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Courtesy: ANI (File)

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar criticised the Western media's portrayal of Indian elections during an interaction after the launch of the Bangla edition of his book 'Why Bharat Matters' in Kolkata. He voiced his disapproval, noting that nations that have resorted to legal means for deciding election outcomes are offering guidance on conducting polls, which he referred to as "gyan."

Jaishankar highlighted the perceived influence of Western countries over global affairs for extended periods. He remarked that they find it challenging to relinquish their "old habits" due to this historical influence, particularly regarding their expectations of certain classes of people ruling India.

The Western media's bias and preferences in Indian politics were another point of contention for Jaishankar. He suggested that these media outlets openly endorse candidates and political parties, and their negative coverage of India stems from an expectation of a specific type of leadership that aligns with their worldview.

In a subtle reference to the legal disputes surrounding the 2020 US presidential election, Jaishankar pointed out the irony of countries resorting to legal avenues for election results and offering advice on election conduct.

Jaishankar also addressed concerns regarding the US warning of potential sanctions following India's agreement to operate the Chabahar Port in Iran. He emphasised the broader regional benefits of the project and urged against adopting a narrow perspective, citing past acknowledgments of Chabahar's significance by the US itself.