Farmer protests have been going on near New Delhi’s borders for more than two months now. Farmers from Punjab are protesting some farm laws which they believe will hurt their income (and take away something called MSP – a minimum support price – that is at present guaranteed to them). Read the full issue here.
So, what happened now?
International pop star Rihanna wrote a tweet (Twitter, a social media platform). Talking about a news story about the internet obstruction at the protest sites in India, she said – ‘Why aren’t we talking about this?
Soon after Rihanna’s tweet, global public figure and environmental activist Greta Thunberg, Meena Harris, lawyer, and niece of US Vice President Kamala Harris, and Lebanese-American media personality Mia Khalifa tweeted their support.
Then there were those who opposed what she said. The common public launched a Twitter war on Rihanna and then in a rare occurrence, the Ministry of External Affairs also released a statement saying that before rushing to comment people should get a proper understanding of the issue.
Bollywood celebrities, cricketers, and citizens- everyone started tweeting about how external forces were trying to divide India. Some notable Indian celebs who tweeted were – Sachin Tendulkar, Akshay Kumar, Virat Kohli, Karan Johar, Suneil Shetty, Anupam Kher, Anurag Srivastava, Rabi Shasti, Kangana Ranaut among many others.
As always there was another side to the debate. There were some other public figures who said that the government should not get rattled by a few tweets by global celebs. Famous writer and politician Shashi Tharoor wrote, “For GoI to get Indian celebrities to react to Western ones is embarrassing.” Former Union Minister of Finance and Union Minister of Home Affairs of India tweeted, “Come on MEA, when will you realize that people concerned with issues of human rights and livelihoods do not recognize national boundaries?”
The Twitter war is only getting worse and the situation on the ground is no better. There is a need to reach a solution soon.
Read more about farmer protests here