The protest launched by farmers against the central government’s new farm laws has taken on an international dimension. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weighed in on the farmers’ protest, saying the “situation in India is concerning.” Trudeau said on Tuesday that “Canada will always be there to defend the rights of peaceful protest.” He is the first world leader to comment on the farmers’ protests. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Anurag Srivastava immediately termed his statement “ill-informed” and “unwarranted.” Most of the political parties, including those in the opposition, criticized Trudeau and asked him to not meddle in the internal affairs of India.
But many prominent voices on social media, including the likes of noted Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan supported the Canadian PM. Judging by the views of the people on social media, some of the support for foreign intervention (or critical commentary) came from a deep frustration at the way things are going in India. In the last few years, the constitutional bodies along with the media and the judiciary have been disappointing the expectations of a large section of the population. There is a growing belief that the ruling party is controlling them. This has hurt the sentiment of those who sought refuge in those bodies to seek justice. Therefore people, especially those at the receiving end of the present regime, are welcoming the statement of Trudeau. This was unthinkable a few years ago. Since the time of the first prime minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Indians have always opposed any attempt to meddle in the internal affairs of the country by foreign leaders. But it seems like the times are changing.