Hours after the Joe Biden administration reacted to the farmer protests in and around New Delhi, India on Thursday said the comments must be seen in their entirety, and appeared to compare the reactions and sentiments in the country after incidents of violence and vandalism at the Red Fort on January 26 to those following the recent clashes at the US Capitol Hill.
The US also said peaceful protests and unhindered access to the internet are "hallmarks" of a "thriving democracy".
Hours after the comments by the State Department in Washington and the US Embassy in Delhi, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said it has taken note of the remarks and that it is important to see them in their entirety and in the context of India's democratic ethos and polity. MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said the protests must also be seen in the context of the ongoing efforts of the government and concerned farmer groups to resolve the impasse.
"India and the United States are both vibrant democracies with shared values. The incidents of violence and vandalism at the historic Red Fort on 26 January have evoked similar sentiments and reactions in India as did the incidents on the Capitol Hill on January 6 and are being addressed as per our respective local laws," said Srivastava.
The spokesperson said temporary measures of restricting internet access in certain parts of the National Capital Region (NCR) had been undertaken to prevent further violence, stressing it is important to see the comments by the US in the context in which they were made.
"We have taken note of comments of the US State Department. It is important to see such comments in the context in which they were made and in their entirety," Srivastava said. "As you can see, the US State Department has acknowledged steps being taken by India towards agricultural reforms."
The State Department in Washington and the US Embassy in Delhi earlier had issued almost identical statements in response to media questions on the protests. "We recognise that peaceful protests are a hallmark of any thriving democracy, and note that the Indian Supreme Court has stated the same. We encourage that any differences between the parties be resolved through dialogue," a spokesperson of the US Embassy said.