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Double Entendre?

Bad money drives out the good from the market… it is called Gresham’s Law… in other words, if there are two forms of commodity money in circulation that are accepted by law as having similar face value, the more valuable commodity will gradually disappear from circulation. This Law is applicable not only to currency, but also to many other things. For example, one can mention debate on a sensitive issue in public forum. We, all, are well aware of the fact that how easily and to what extent fabled arguments can banish healthy debates from the society. Whenever an issue is raised on the Social Media platform, it triggers a controversy. No matter how important the issue is, it soon turns out to be a state of utter chaos and confusion.

Recently, Music Star Rihanna, Environmental Activist Greta Thunberg and several American Politicians have taken to the Social Media to back the ongoing Farmers’ Protests in India, and to slam the Government of India’s Agricultural Policy. As expected, their comments have immediately created a storm by means of a variety of reactions in different parts of the South Asian country. This time, mainly the two camps provide additional materials to the shemozzle. Apart from the Government of India, the noted Indian sports and film personalities have launched an attack on Rihanna, Thunberg and others for backing the Farmers’ Protests! The manner in which the eminent Indian sports and film personalities are attacking foreign critics in defence of National Honour is indeed arousing shivers…

In fact, the main issue of this war of words is Right, rather whether anyone outside the country has the Right to criticise the events of that country… Those famous Indian personalities, who are dissatisfied with the words of foreign critics, are of the opinion that what would or should happen in India is a matter for the Indians to consider, and citizens of other countries have no moral right to comment on that! Clearly, there is a blatant intolerance inherent in this sort of argument. Interestingly, these personalities forgot to advise their Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to comment on a foreign country’s internal matter when he openly supported former US President Donald Trump’s second term ahead of 2020 Presidential Polls! It seems that whenever these Indians, at the helm of affairs concerning the State, face criticism, the sense of holy patriotism awakens among these people! This is not only a matter of intolerance, but also a fine example of maintaining double standards.

There can be no reason to object to the views of citizens of foreign countries, especially criticism, on what is happening in one country. Rather, a Democratic Nation should accept and welcome opinions from Outside. Adam Smith (June 1723 – July 17, 1790) – the Scottish Economist, Moral Philosopher and the pioneer of Political Economy – had highlighted the special importance of Impartial Spectator for building a just society, saying that the person’s observation would be valuable especially if the observer stayed outside of a particular society.

Although there is no guarantee that an outsider’s view will be impartial, the multiplicity of observations from different angles can increase the possibility of accurate evaluation. Hence, there are monitoring systems for various Human Rights issues by different international organisations. In the era of Information Technology, it is ridiculous to say that “only the people of a country will talk about that country’s affairs“.

Those, who are running the Indian State, and those, who are pursuing them out of devotion or fear or enjoying the status quo, know that what the Rulers are doing while dealing with the Farmers’ Protests (and other sensitive issues) is unfair. An Authoritarian Ruler can easily put critics in jails by calling them traitors. However, it is not possible for the Ruler to follow the same strategy in case of foreign critics. That is why Rihanna, Thunberg and others’ stand, in this case, has irked the Government of India.

If the Ruler builds barricades of cement, snaps Internet lines, places iron rods, nails and spikes at the sites where a majority of farmers have been staging protests peacefully, it inevitably gets global attention. The Global Scrutiny of the Indian Democracy or the International Response to Farmers’ Protests is a result of a growing perception that India is turning back on its Democratic Roots. The most effective way to counter this, possibly, is through action

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