New Delhi: Poetic Justice Foundation (PJF), the organisation which is on the radar of Indian investigation agencies for its alleged involvement in creating a toolkit that was tweeted and then deleted by environmental activist Greta Thunburg, Saturday denied paying money to popstar Rihanna for her tweet on the farmers’ protest.
The Canada-based organisation, however, said it “encouraged the entire world to share this issue”.
The organisation responded to ThePrint via email, over the allegation that its founder Mo Dhaliwal paid $2.5 million to Rihanna for her tweet. PJF also released a statement on its website.
The Print reached Dhaliwal through a Twitter message for comments over the allegation that PR firm Skyrocket paid money to Rihanna. In his response, he shared the statement sent by PJF to ThePrint via email.
“Poetic Justice Foundation did not coordinate Rihanna, Greta Thunberg or any number of specific celebrities to tweet about the #FarmersProtest. We didn’t pay anyone to tweet — and certainly didn’t pay anyone $2.5m to do so,” read the statement, signed by Dhaliwal and Anita Lal, director of the Canada-based World Sikh Organisation, and co-founder of PJF.
“However, we did generally encourage the entire world to share this issue. Through the international collective of organizers we encouraged the world to pay attention and amplify this message,” the statement said.
The statement further said: “Our voices joined a global chorus that, together, may have played a small part in elevating this message enough such that conscious people, appalled by India’s human rights violations during the farmers protest, decided to use their own platforms to raise awareness of the plight of the marginalized in India.”
“It is our hope that Indian media and government attention will invest their time and significant resources to the real issues of the moment: stopping the violences being committed against the farmers and their supporters who are agitating for their rights (sic),” it said.
“Surely, the largest democracy in the world is not so fragile as to feel threatened by dissent. Surely, a government constantly proclaiming its own greatness will survive critique from a tiny non-profit organization in Canada that has been in existence for 9 months,” it added.
Also read: Canada firm, MP, PR person suspected for farmers protest toolkit tweeted by Greta Thunberg
‘Did not coordinate any protest activities’
The statement further said that the organisation did not coordinate any protest activities occurring within India.
“Up to India’s Republic Day, January 26th, 2021, and beyond — whether at Red Fort in Delhi or elsewhere in the country — we were not involved in directing or fomenting any protest activity of any sort within India,” the statement read
The organisation also said it has never advocated for hate and that they became a part of the farmers’ protest due to their connection and love for their people.
“We have not and will never advocate for hate. However, we have been subjected to hateful messages, our inboxes have been inundated with images of dead Sikhs and our lives have been threatened. We are the children of a culture of trauma. This trauma has been wielded against us as a weapon of hate by a coordinated army of self-proclaimed Indian nationalists.”
“We will never advocate for the stripping of rights from others. We will never advocate for the harm of others. Advocating for the rights of our own people does not equate to harming others,” the statement added.
“There are injustices in our home in Canada. We speak against those. There are injustices in other parts of the world. We will also speak against those.
We were drawn to the #FarmersProtest due to our connection and love for our people. This made us especially aware of the many human rights violations occurring in India,” read the statement.
AskIndiawhy for public to see
The statement also said that the organisation connected with people who are “like-minded, equally moved and emotionally connected to the plight of our people in India” and also that AskIndiaWhy, which police sources said is a front of the organisation in the UK, is publicly available for everyone to see.
On Twitter, PJF has been actively posting about the farmers’ protest with the hashtag “AskIndiaWhy”, which has also spawned a website by the same name. “India’s farmers and citizens need the global community to pay attention,” the website states. “International focus on these protests may be the only thing preventing state-sponsored violence and another string of massacres in the country,” it adds.
“As convenors of a global collective, we gathered up all of this thinking and made it publicly available on a website called AskIndiaWhy.com. The materials we produced were made freely available for all. In fact, these materials are still available online. We didn’t take them down, because we believe in the work,” the statement said.
“We saw members of our diaspora worldwide struggle to bring awareness, struggle to organize and galvanize support. Further, we saw many community members grappling with how to convey a clear message for complex issues.
We held meetings. We brainstormed ideas. We gathered feedback. As we worked, an idea emerged. We decided to bring a question to the democracy of India. We would “ask India why”,” the statement said.
It further said that the materials currently available on AskIndiaWhy.com have been included in many messages and documents produced by human rights activists throughout the world, whether that’s Greta Thunberg’s team or any number of others appalled at India’s record on human rights.
“This content has been open and accessible to anyone who is interested in accessing it.”
Also read: Rihanna Fenty Beauty brand under lens in India for ‘using mica from mines hiring child labour’
The farmer’s protest is simply being hijacked by few radical forces (pretending to be political left). I was really supporting the farmer’s movement, but now tbh, I’m highly sceptical beacuse there are larger agendas.
The biggest losers of this hijack are the farmers clearly. Another thing that makes me sad is how Greta is just becoming nothing more than a puppet.
Now it’s time to provide proof of claims that riri is paid
I am from Canada and I see how these types of groups are maligning the farmer protest. Most of them are second generation Canadian and may not even have visited India and know nothing about the subject and have just been fed poison by the khalistani movement just like jagmeet Singh. Here the Gurudwara are freely distributin anti India stickers and many cars are freely spoeting this and placard and Justin t as usual is his dumb s lf
Doesn’t their toolkit document explicitly mention using rihanna and greta??
From the tweet I read it wasn’t . It more on creating hashtags n asking gov questions in any possible form.
We knew our gal Riri. Her one nail costs that much. The people like K*ngana and all are not even worth her piece of used toilet paper 🤣
Why is there a different narrative between Capital hill violence and Indian Rebublic day violence.
Both are mob violence resulting from a brain washed group of people with deep sence of manufactured victimhood.
The liberal left considers one group to be uncivilised and worthy of maximum penal punishment beacuse they swore allegiance to their betenoir and the other group to be innocent victims whose violence is somehow to be justified because they are fighting a leader they loathe.
Did the Print Team clarify that there has been no violence committed against the protestors and there is no human rights violation?
really there’s been no human rights violation?! I guess cutting off water / power supply and the internet (that could be critically important for emergencies) is something all of us Indians are supposed to take in as routine matters – after all, we are used to the arbitrary exercise of power by those in official positions, right?!! Been happening to us “subjects of the state” for centuries and so we’re used to it!
Offcourse not the print is pro left
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