Mysuru, May 7: India has the most uncontrollable press, said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday in response to a question about the low ranking of India on the press index.
During the interactive session on the Foreign Policy of the Modi Government, Jaishankar said, “I was amazed at our number. I thought we had the most uncontrollable press, and somebody is getting something fundamentally wrong. Comparing India’s rank with Afghanistan, EAM said, “Afghanistan was freer than us. Can you imagine? Look, these are all I mean, I see the democracy index, freedom index, religious freedom index, and press freedom index.”
Terming the press index “mind games,” Jaishankar said that these are the ways of playing the mind games which are like lowering the rank of the country whom you don’t like while others do not.
This statement came days after Reporters Without Borders (RSF) released their press index and ranked India at 161. While Afghanistan stood at 152. China drops to the second-lowest spot on the 2023 World Freedom Press Index, standing at 179th rank.
Last year, India stood at 150th rank. This time, India falls 11 ranks.
During the session, Jaishankar took a jibe at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and said that he was taking classes in China from the Chinese ambassador.
He said, “I would have offered to take classes on China from Rahul Gandhi but I discovered he was taking classes on China from the Chinese ambassador,” responding to the Congress leader’s criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi government’s handling of relations with China.
Jaishankar referred to Rahul Gandhi’s meeting with the Chinese ambassador to India during the Doklam crisis. He attacked the government, suggesting that new territory had been lost to China’s salami slicing.
“I know everything in politics is political. I accept that. But I think on certain issues, we have a collective responsibility to at least behave in a way that we do not weaken our (India’s) collective position abroad to do what we have seen in the last three years in China,” Jaishankar said, adding, “often very misleading narratives are put in.”