In Narendra Modi's condemnation of US Capitol siege lies coded message for India
'The democratic process cannot be allowed to be subverted through unlawful protests,' tweeted Narendra Modi in response to rioters storming the US Capitol in Washington, DC
On 18 December, Prime Minister Narendra Modi opened public channels of communication with protesting farmers with an emotional address. As noted by this article, "[Modi] went after the Opposition parties with aggression, accused them of fabricating lies around the reforms and exploit the gullibility of farmers for their political benefit, cut through the obfuscations and ripped the lies into shreds."
On Thursday morning, while condemning the chaotic scenes in the American capital, it appeared Modi was issuing an addendum of sorts to his address in a coded message to India:
Distressed to see news about rioting and violence in Washington DC. Orderly and peaceful transfer of power must continue. The democratic process cannot be allowed to be subverted through unlawful protests.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 7, 2021
To recap, what began as a day of reckoning for President Donald Trump's futile attempt to cling to power devolved into scenes of fear and agony that left a prime ritual of American democracy in tatters. "If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore," Trump told all his supporters at a rally in Washington. He added, "Let the weak ones get out... This is a time for strength."
Meanwhile, the president's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, told the crowd, "Let's have trial by combat." Chaos ensued and the entire capital went into lockdown as rioters raided the Capitol building. Shots were fired, protesters were hit and authorities eventually regained control as night fell. Heavily armed officers brought in as reinforcements started using tear gas in a coordinated effort to get people moving toward the door, then combed the halls for stragglers, pushing the mob farther out onto the plaza and lawn, in clouds of tear gas, flash-bangs and percussion grenades.
This saw an outpouring of condemnation from a host of countries including Britain, Spain, Germany, Australia and of course, India.
Over the past few weeks, BJP leaders including Narendra Singh Tomar, Kailash Vijayvargiya and others have questioned the legitimacy of the farmers' protests. And the prime minister's tweet on Thursday morning can be read as a warning against elements potentially seeking to escalate the protests.
With inputs from AP
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