Rihanna creates flutter in India with tweet on farmer protests | Agriculture Information
US pop superstar tweeted solidarity with months of protests against new farm laws, followed by climate activist Greta Thunberg.
Rihanna, the US pop superstar, has caused a flutter in India by leading months of farmer protests against new farm laws by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.
Tens of thousands of young and old farmers have blocked the roads leading to New Delhi and protected themselves from the cold in tractors for more than two months to demand the repeal of three laws passed last September that farmers say are destroying their livelihoods, by bringing India’s vast agricultural sector under corporate control.
A tractor rally by farmers in New Delhi last week turned violent, killing one and wounding hundreds, including police officers.
Police responded by closing the internet, digging trenches, driving nails in streets and covering barricades with barbed wire to prevent farmers from re-entering the capital.
Why don’t we talk about it ?! #FarmersProtest https://t.co/obmIlXhK9S
– Rihanna (@rihanna) February 2, 2021
“Why don’t we talk about it ?!” Rihanna said in a Twitter post, sharing the article on a CNN network about the demonstrations with their 100.9 million followers on the platform using the hashtag #FarmersProtest.
It wasn’t immediately clear what prompted Rihanna, whose songs are doing well in India, to suddenly tweet about the subject.
A few hours after Rihanna’s tweet, Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg published the same CNN article expressing solidarity with India’s protesting farmers.
“We stand in solidarity with the #FarmersProtest in India,” Thunberg tweeted to her 4.6 million followers.
We stand in solidarity with the #FarmersProtest in India.
– Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) February 2, 2021
Human Rights Watch also tweeted Rihanna, saying Prime Minister Modi’s administration “is presiding over a dangerous regression on free speech to pursue its nationalist agenda for Hindus.”
“In Modis India, increasingly independent institutions, including investigators, prosecutors and courts that should defend their rights impartially, are instead protecting supporters of the government and targeting its critics,” the rights group said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Indian authorities should release activists and others who are already detained or prosecuted in politically motivated cases and not add them to this list” ~ @ mg2411 https://t.co/OyiTBUjNz2 #FarmersProtest https: // t. co / 4hRqEISrML
– Human Rights Watch (@hrw) February 2, 2021
When Rihanna was trending on Twitter in India, a Mumbai-based actress who supports India’s ruling nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hit the US singer.
“Nobody talks about it because they are not farmers, but terrorists who are trying to split India …”, Kangana Ranaut told her three million followers on the same platform.
THREAD: International support for farmers’ protest in India 👇
– Siddharth (@DearthOfSid) February 2, 2021
The protests, which lasted for months, are led by Sikh farmers in turbans from the wheat and rice-growing state of Punjab in northern India.
The close community, which is spread around the world, has also organized protests in Australia, the UK and the US.
Sikh Coalition, a New York-based rights group, thanked Rihanna for bringing the issue into international limelight.
“For over a week the Indian government has been suspending Internet services around # FarmersProtest websites in order to clearly violate freedom of expression,” it says on Twitter.