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India is becoming bigger and its progress in many ways will shape the rest of the world because of which the rest of the world is trying to influence it in different ways, particularly through the media, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Tuesday.

In reply to a question at a lecture event in Hansraj College, New Delhi, EAM Jaishankar underscored that it’s not necessarily the governments which influence the country, it is often done by the media in the present day.

“You named Al Jazeera. But I will only make one broader point applicable to other outlets, outfits as well. Because we are becoming bigger, because we are doing better, because our progress in many ways will shape the rest of the world, the rest of the world is also trying to influence it in different ways,” EAM Jaishankar said.

“They don’t have to be governments who are influencing it. Often these are done by media. If you look today, at the kind of comments which are coming out of media, the kind of attempts to shape opinion, to take it in different directions, I think all of these are very much part of an influence game that is going on,” he added.

The Minister also said India should accept and prepare itself for countering these ‘realities’ in the globalised world.

“I think we should be aware of it, globalized “Duniya me” we should accept that these are realities and we should prepare ourselves for it. As I said, where there is a need to give answer, we answer it and if there is a need to ignore or find ways of dealing with it. We will do so,” he said.

On Monday, in a stark acknowledgement of foreign powers trying to influence Lok Sabha elections in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the world is trying to do “more than just giving opinions” and asserted that such endeavours would ultimately remain “unsuccessful”.

“I think this opposition will be only till June 4, after that these people will neither have the power nor exist. Only the power of my nation and our radiant democracy will exist. The world will watch India’s democracy with a new point of view. I can see that there is an attempt that the world is trying to influence our elections. They are not just giving their opinions but trying to influence our elections but they will not be successful,” he said.

“People of India will not get influenced. After Emergency, people of India, including the poor, have showed the beauty of India’s democracy. Such people will not be successful. The lamp flickers before it extinguishes. This is the flickering, as they know they will soon be left in the dark,” he added.

Earlier, EAM Jaishankar slammed Western media, emphasising that they criticise our democracy because they think they are also political players in our election and not because they lack information.

Addressing a forum for nationalist thinkers in Hyderabad, EAM said, “I get a lot of these noises from the Western press and if they criticize our democracy, it’s not because they lack information. It is because they think they are also political players in our election.”

Further, Mr Jaishankar said that in an article by the Western media, they stated that in such a heatwave in India, why are they holding elections?

“Now I read that article and I wanted to say listen, in that heat my lowest turnout is higher than your highest turnout in the best run,” Jaishankar said.

He added that these are games that are being played with us.