New Delhi: Pop icon Rihanna Tuesday extended her support to the ongoing farmers’ protest at Delhi’s borders, thereby bringing global attention to the issue.
“Why aren’t we talking about this?! #FarmersProtest,” tweeted the singer who has over 100 million followers on Twitter.
Soon after, climate change activist Greta Thunberg, American lawyer and Vice President Kamala Harris’ niece Meena Harris, and the Human Rights Watch also called for attention to be drawn to the ongoing protests against the Centre’s contentious new farm laws.
— Rihanna (@rihanna) February 2, 2021
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) February 2, 2021
It’s no coincidence that the world’s oldest democracy was attacked not even a month ago, and as we speak, the most populous democracy is under assault. This is related. We ALL should be outraged by India’s internet shutdowns and paramilitary violence against farmer protesters. https://t.co/yIvCWYQDD1 pic.twitter.com/DxWWhkemxW
— Meena Harris (@meenaharris) February 2, 2021
“Indian authorities should be releasing activists and others already jailed or facing criminal charges in politically motivated cases, not adding to that list" ~ @mg2411 https://t.co/OyiTBUjNz2 #FarmersProtest https://t.co/4hRqEISrML
— Human Rights Watch (@hrw) February 2, 2021
However, minutes after Rihanna’s tweet, actor Kangana Ranaut attacked the international icon, calling her a “fool”. Kangana also termed the farmers as “terrorists”.
“No one is talking about it because they are not farmers, they are terrorists who are trying to divide India, so that China can take over our vulnerable broken nation and make it a Chinese colony much like USA,” she tweeted.
No one is talking about it because they are not farmers they are terrorists who are trying to divide India, so that China can take over our vulnerable broken nation and make it a Chinese colony much like USA…
Sit down you fool, we are not selling our nation like you dummies. https://t.co/OIAD5Pa61a
— Kangana Ranaut (@KanganaTeam) February 2, 2021
Many Twitter users, including politicians, have since demanded an immediate ban on Ranaut’s account.
Four-term MP from Congress, Deepender S. Hooda, said “I urge @TwitterIndia to ban this account immediately. Her tweet is in response to a post on internet ban in Haryana. Calling peacefully agitating farmers in Haryana ‘terrorists’ is highly inflammatory & hateful. The biggest irony is that these farmers are the biggest patriots.”
Meanwhile, actor Sushant Singh, whose account was recently ‘withheld‘ by Twitter, urged Kisan Ekta Morcha to consider filing a defamation case against Ranaut.
I urge @TwitterIndia to ban this account immediately.
Her tweet is in response to a post on internet ban in Haryana. Calling peacefully agitating farmers in Haryana ‘terrorists’ is highly inflammatory & hateful. The biggest irony is that these farmers are the biggest patriots. https://t.co/JnSxe6tijR
— Deepender S Hooda (@DeependerSHooda) February 2, 2021
Other users followed suit.
Hello @TwitterIndia , this person is calling lakhs of farmer protestors "Terrorists" and inciting violence against them.
How can you allow such kind of hateful msg on your platform @jack ??
Any action @shashidigital. ??
— Md Asif Khan (@imMAK02) February 2, 2021
Because you were quick to ban hundreds for calling Modi a genocide enabler (which actually he is), we expect you to act with same hastiness against @KanganaTeam.
She labelled lakhs of protesting farmers as terrorists & has put their safety in danger. pic.twitter.com/RHvCRkNSjp
— Jas Oberoi | ਜੱਸ ਓਬਰੌਏ (@iJasOberoi) February 2, 2021
— Sumeet Kaur Wadhwa (@Sumeet_wadhwa16) February 2, 2021
Thousands of farmers have been protesting for over two months at Delhi’s borders against the new laws. Farmers remain firm on their demand for a repeal of all three laws. Meanwhile, internet services in the border areas of Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri were suspended days after tractor rally organised by farmers on 26 January turned violent after many digressed from the approved route. 33 FIR have also been filed in relation to the violence.