Mysore: Reacting to India’s low ranking on the Press Index, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday (May 7) termed the World Press Freedom Index as “mind games”. Responding to a question about India’s low ranking on the Press Index, he said that the press in India is the most uncontrollable.
Jaishankar said during an interactive session on the Modi government’s foreign policy in Mysore, “I was amazed by our numbers. I thought we had the most out-of-control press, and somebody was getting something fundamentally wrong.” Afghanistan, the foreign minister said, “Afghanistan was more free than us. Can you imagine? Look, all this I mean, I look at the democracy index, the freedom index, the religious freedom index and the press freedom index.”
‘Ways to play mind games’
Terming the press index as “mind games”, Jaishankar said that “these are ways of playing mind games which is like lowering the rank of the country you don’t like while others don’t.”
The statement comes days after Reporters Without Borders (RSF) released its Press Index and ranked India at 161st position. While Afghanistan was at 152nd position. Last year India was ranked 150th. This time India has dropped down 11 places.
‘Rahul Gandhi taking classes from Chinese ambassador in China’
During the session, Jaishankar also took a jibe at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and said he was taking classes from the Chinese Ambassador to China. Responding to the Congress leader’s criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi government’s handling of relations with China, “I had offered to take classes on China from Rahul Gandhi, but I came to know that he was taking classes on China from the Chinese Ambassador” “
Jaishankar was referring to Rahul Gandhi’s meeting with the Chinese ambassador to India during the Doklam crisis. He attacked the government by suggesting that the new territory was lost to China’s salami slicing.
“I know everything is political in politics. I accept that. But I think on some issues we have a collective responsibility to at least behave in such a way that we (India’s) Don’t dilute the situation that we have seen.” Jaishankar said, in the last three years, very misleading narratives are often put in China.
Jaishankar also hit out at misleading narratives and misrepresentations, “For example, we had … a bridge that the Chinese were building at Pangong Tso. Now, the reality was that the Exclusive Zone was first the Chinese came in 1959, and then They captured it in 1962. But it was not presented that way.
“This has also happened in the case of some of the so-called model villages, that they were built on areas that we lost in 62 or before 62. Now, I do not believe you will rarely hear me say in 1962, that such Should not have happened, or you are wrong, or you are responsible. What happened happened. It is our collective, I would say failure or responsibility,” Jaishankar said.
“I don’t necessarily attribute this to a political color. I’d like to see that there’s actually a serious China conversation. I’m willing to accept that there are different points of view on that, but if you look at it as one Let’s reduce it to a slanging match, what can I say after that?” He added.
(With ANI inputs)
Also read: ‘India-China relations are not normal…’: External Affairs Minister Jaishankar
Also read: Foreign Minister Jaishankar holds bilateral talks with Chinese, Russian counterparts on the sidelines of SCO meeting