Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli has also joined the list of celebrities and sports stars in expressing support for the government's stand on the ongoing farmers' protests, saying that "farmers are an integral part of our country and I'm sure an amicable solution will be found between all parties to bring about peace and move forward together".
Kohli's statement came hours after the Ministry of External Affairs reacted sharply to comments by international pop star Rihanna, teen climate activist Greta Thunberg and others on farmers' protests.
Let us all stay united in this hour of disagreements. Farmers are an integral part of our country and I'm sure an amicable solution will be found between all parties to bring about peace and move forward together. #IndiaTogether— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) February 3, 2021
The 32-year-old cricketer shared his tweet with the hashtag "#IndiaTogether".
Yesterday, after the ministry's statement, several renowned people like legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, Ajinkya Rahane actor Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn, etc, also used the twin hashtags -- #IndiaTogether #IndiaAgainstPropaganda -- to amplify the pushback to the global celebrities.
The tweets advised people to focus on the government's efforts to resolve the farmer crisis. Yesterday, the MEA in its official statement conspicuously wrote that some "vested interest groups" were trying to enforce their agenda on the protests. It further added: "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".
Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor hit out on celebrities and cricketers by saying the damage is done to India's global image by the government's "obduracy and undemocratic behaviour" and it can't be remedied by such tweets. "For GoI (government of India) to get Indian celebrities to react to Western ones is embarrassing," Tharoor added.
Another senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said it is good that Rihanna and Greta can wake up the MEA. "Come on MEA, when will you realise that people concerned with issues of human rights and livelihoods do not recognise national boundaries? Why did MEA comment on the military coup in Myanmar? Why is it 'deeply concerning' to the MEA?" he said in a series of tweets.
Why does MEA regularly comment on issues that are "internal" to Sri Lanka and Nepal, the former Union minister asked.