- UK House of Commons may soon address the issue of the ongoing Indian farmers’ agitation
- An e-petition was circulated titled ‘Urge the Indian Government to ensure safety of protesters & press freedom
- Farmers protest has gained international limelight forcing MEA to assert India’s sovereignty on internal issues
TAD NewsDesk, London: Attracting attention in UK’s House of Commons, the Indian farmers’ issue will soon be debated in the Westminster Hall debate. As the petition initiated by the UK Parliament’s Petitions Committee gathered 110,000 signatures on the issue of farmers protests and press freedom, the issue would soon be discussed in the UK Parliament.
“Petitions that receive 100,000 signatures will be considered for a debate in Parliament. Debates in Westminster Hall — where petitions debates take place — are currently suspended, but the Committee will make an announcement on scheduling this debate as soon as possible,” a House of Commons spokesperson said.
However, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has not signed the petition till yet, as per Downing Street.
Further, the House of Commons explained that although people can view signatures on its petitions website by individual parliamentary constituencies along with the name of the constituency MP, it would not tell whether individual MPs have signed it.
In response to gaining debate on Indian farm laws amidst the ongoing farmers’ agitation, Indian Ministry of External Affairs has called such criticism by foreign leaders and organisations on protests ‘ill-informed’ and ‘unwarranted’.
The MEA went on to assert India’s sovereign right to decide on its internal matters and highlighted that the Parliament of India had passed “reformist legislation” for the agricultural sector. Therefore, such laws must be read in context of India’s socio-economic and political scenario.
“Before rushing to comment on such matters, we would urge that the facts be ascertained, and a proper understanding of the issues at hand be undertaken. The temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments, especially when resorted to by celebrities and others, is neither accurate nor responsible,” the MEA statement said.
In London, a UK government spokesperson said, “Media freedom is vital for the protection of human rights and journalists all around the world must be free to do their job and to hold authorities to account without fear of arrest or violence.”
“Free press plays a crucial role in our democracies and the government are putting their full weight behind this, including through our membership of the Media Freedom Coalition,” the spokesperson said.
The petition was titled ‘Urge the Indian Government to ensure safety of protesters & press freedom’ asking the British government to make a statement on the “#kissanprotests & press freedoms”.
While e-petitions on the Parliament website require to cross the 10,000 signatures mark for the UK government to make an official statement, this petition has already garnered 110, 000 signatures. Meanwhile, the UK’s Indian Journalists’ Association (IJA) in partnership with other international media organisations has raised alarm over the current arrests of journalists covering the farmers’ protests.
Source – Economic Times