Rihanna has added her voice in support of the India farmers’ protests against the Indian government, as she took to her social media handle to question why the protest is not getting the needed world attention it deserved.
The India farmers’ protests which started in late 2020, have received little mention on social media outside of India, especially on Twitter which has served as the first point of call for citizens around the world to air their views or grievances against their different government. The recent #EndSARS protests in Nigeria is one of those instances citizens have used Twitter and other social media platforms to push for a better treatment from their government, especially the issue of Police brutality and killings.
The India farmers’ protests began in November 2020 and stem from the passing of a bill that farmers say will no longer protect them from the vagaries of the market and will instead pass control of the agriculture sector to giant corporations.
The government stance is that the bill creates myriad opportunities to sell produce to private buyers.
Farmers from around the country have been gathering in their thousands outside the Indian capital New Delhi, battling the twin threats of a harsh northern Indian winter and the coronavirus pandemic.
Rihanna taking to her official Twitter handle on Tuesday, posted a photo from the India farmer protests, which was a link from CNN, and tweeted this saying:
“why aren’t we talking about this!?”
Environmental activist Greta Thunberg tweeted the same story with the message: “We stand in solidarity with the #FarmersProtest in India.”
Their tweets were retweeted hundreds of thousands of times and prompted a government statement from India’s Ministry of External Affairs. The statement notes that negotiations with the protesters are ongoing, and that the Prime Minister has offered to keep the new farming laws on hold. “Yet, it is unfortunate to see vested interest groups trying to enforce their agenda on these protests, and derail them,” the statement says.
“We would like to emphasize that these protests must be seen in the context of India’s democratic ethos and polity, and the efforts of the Government and the concerned farmer groups to resolve the impasse.”
“Before rushing to comment on such matters, we would urge that the facts be ascertained, and a proper understanding of the issues at hand be undertaken. The temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments, especially when resorted to by celebrities and others, is neither accurate nor responsible.”
The statement ends with two hashtags: #IndiaTogether and #IndiaAgainstPropaganda