18 February 2023
'We know the dangers of what happens when there's outside interference'
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar speaks during 'Raisina @ Sydney Business Breakfast', in Sydney, Australia.
Billionaire investor George Soros is old, rich, opinionated, and dangerous and invests resources in shaping narratives, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday said.
The 92-year-old hedge fund tycoon, who has been associated with supporting liberal causes, on Thursday sent shockwaves in the Indian political scene saying Gautam Adani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's fates are entwined, and alleged that Modi was not a "democrat." Speaking at the Munich Security conference, he also said the turmoil in Adani's business empire may open the door to a "democratic revival" in the country.
Responding to a question at a session at the Raisina@Sydney Dialogue, Jaishankar said 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," Jaishankar said.
He said that a few years ago at the same conference, Soros had accused India of planning to strip millions of Muslims of their citizenship.
"We know the dangers of what happens when there's outside interference … if you do this kind of scaremongering, like millions of people will be deprived of citizenship, it actually does real damage to our societal fabric," he said.
"There are other manifestations of this in different countries, where people like him think an election is good if the person we want to see wins. If the election throws up a different outcome, then we actually will say it's a flawed democracy," he said.
Jaishankar said globalisation allows seamless opportunities but also allows narratives to be shaped, money to come in, and organisations to get about their agenda. "All this is done under the pretence of advocacy of an open society of transparency." The Adani Group has been under severe pressure since the US short-seller Hindenburg Research on January 24 accused it of accounting fraud and stock manipulation, allegations that the conglomerate has denied as "malicious", "baseless", and a "calculated attack on India."