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Jaishankar takes on George Soros, calls him ‘old, rich, and dangerous’

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar (Twitter/@ASPI_org)

Labelling him an “old, rich opinionated person who still thinks that his views should determine how the entire world works,” External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar has slammed billionaire investor George Soros for his recent comments on India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Mr Soros is an old, rich, opinionated person sitting in New York, who still thinks that his views should determine how the entire world works. Now, if I could only stop at old, rich and opinionated, I would put it away but he is old, rich, opinionated and dangerous,” said Jaishankar at the Raisina@Sydney Dialogue held in Australia for the first time.

He added: “Such people actually invest resources in shaping narratives… People like him think an election is good if the person they want to see, wins and if the election throws up a different outcome then they will say it is a flawed democracy and the beauty is that all this is done under the pretence of advocacy of open society…”

Organised by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), the dialogue brings together leading thinkers on security, economics and foreign policy to discuss geopolitics, technology and development in the Indo-Pacific.

92-year-old Soros is in the eye of the storm for his comments on industrialist Gautam Adani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Munich Security Conference earlier this week.

The billionaire financier, whose name has been linked with several regime-change colour revolutions, said that PM Modi and business tycoon are “close allies” and their fate is “intertwined”. He also went on to say that the Indian government’s troubles would “significantly weaken Modi’s stranglehold on India’s federal government” and “open the door to push for much needed institutional reforms”, reported the Financial Times.

In Sydney today, Jaishankar hit out at the Hungarian-born American financier.

“Mr Soros said India is a democratic country but he doesn’t think the Prime minister of India is a democrat. He earlier accused us of planning to strip millions Muslims of their citizenship which of course didn’t happen, it was a ridiculous suggestion,” said the EAM.

Jaishankar said Soros’ comments were typical of a “Euro Atlantic view” and India’s voters decided “how the country should run”.

“It worries us. We are a country that went through colonialism, we know the dangers of what happens when there’s outside interference,” he said.

“If you do this kind of scaremongering… millions of people will be deprived of citizenship. It actually does real damage to the societal fabric because somebody out there believes you. You create that kind of fear psychosis,” he added further.

Jaishankar stated that India is a democracy where voter turnout is unprecedented, electoral outcomes are decisive and electoral process is not questioned.

“We know the dangers of outside influence in politics. When you do scaremongering, it does actual damage to society. You create fear psychosis and you use that to justify your actions. The question of whose democracy it is are real issues that need to be debated.

Also Read: George Soros’ tirade against Adani, PM Modi at Munich can backfire