Indian government acted angrily to the tweet by Rihanna on farmers protest in the outskirts of New Delhi. The farmers in India mainly from Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh are protesting against newly introduced farm laws. The agitation is not almost 3 months old and farmers along with elders, kids and female members of their family are stationed on borders of Delhi protesting against these farm laws. Government of India on its part has agreed to put the laws on hold for 18 months but the farmers are insisting on total recall of these farm laws.
I am not here to take any sides. Farmers and government of India are justified in their respect. However, I am failed to understand that why the government of India reacted to a tweet by Rihanna. This has given undue publicity to the protest and media all over world is now discussing this farmers protest in India.
In a press release by Ministry of External Affairs the government of India has accused “foreign individuals” and celebrities of “sensationalism”. Within few hours of pop star’s tweet, teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg and Meena Harris, niece of US Vice President also supported in support of the agitating farmers. I am not sure if the Indian media or the government spokesperson has read Rihanna’s tweet carefully. She was only drawing world’s attention to internet blockade and farmers agitation. She on requested her fans to start discussion on this agitation and internet blockade.
India is world’s largest democracy. And each and every India has liberty to speak freely and express him / her in whatever way he / she want to. These type of news items only give wrong signals about India.
Agitating farmers drew global attention on 26th January when they took out huge tractor rally and this in turn got violent resulting in death of one protesting farmer and injury to scores of policeman on duty. Some protestors also hoisted a religious flag atop Red Fort. This incident drew sharp criticism from government, opposition parties and civil society in general.
However this tweet from Rihanna has provided much needed global attention to agitating farmers. The tweet also drew sharp criticism from few Indian movie and sports stars. They all tweet the same content hence giving rise to speculation that this tweet was drafted and shared with them to forward.