India’s move of hosting EU parliamentarians, who also visited Kashmir, has backfired because majority of the 27-member delegation of the European Parliament members were largely from far-right European parties. Some of these parties include German Alternative for Germany (AfD) and France’s Rassemblement National. The AfD has gained notoriety both in Europe and Germany for its anti-immigration stance.
According to Telegraph India, “22 of the 27 members of European Parliament (MEPs) are Right-wing politicians in their home countries”.
According to a detailed profile of the group’s composition, “six members belong to France’s far-right Rassemblement party, five from the Polish far-right Prawo i Sprawiedliwość, four from the UK’s right-wing Brexit Party, two each from Italy’s far-right Lega Party and Germany’s far-right Alternative für Deutschland as well as members of the Czech Republic’s centre-Right KDU-ČSL, Belgium’s right-wing Vlaams Belang and Spain’s far-Right VOX”.
A report in Asia Times online also explained how the move backfired for India. In the report, Saikat Datta writes, “Chris Davies, who is a Liberal Democrat MEP, pulled out of (the Kashmir visit) when his request to meet ordinary citizens in the state without any official presence was turned down. He was informed by the Indian government that he was no longer welcome to join the trip”. In response, Davies issued an official statement: “I am not prepared to take part in a PR stunt for the Modi government and pretend that all is well. It is very clear that democratic principles are being subverted in Kashmir, and the world needs to start taking notice,”
The move was also criticised by many on the social media: