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Why 21-yr-old climate activist associated with Greta Thunberg has been charged with sedition

Disha Ravi is a founding member of Fridays For Future India, part of global climate strike movement started by Greta Thunberg in 2018.

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Bengaluru: A 21-year-old activist was arrested in Bengaluru by the Delhi Police Cyber Crime Cell Sunday in connection with the ‘toolkit’ shared by teenaged Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg on the ongoing farmer protests in India.

Disha Ravi, a BBA student from a private college in Bengaluru, is one of the founding members of Fridays For Future India (FFF), which is part of the global climate strike movement Thunberg started in August 2018.

The daughter of a Mysuru-based athletics trainer, she was working as a ‘culinary experience manager’ with a Bengaluru-based company, Good Mylk, and was arrested Saturday evening from her residence in Abbigere and taken to the capital to be produced in front of a magistrate.


Also read: ‘Hang them’ — YouTuber threatens journalists in now deleted video ‘exposing’ Greta toolkit


The allegations against her

According to senior Bengaluru Police officials, on 4 February, the Delhi Police Cyber Crime Cell registered an FIR against the creators of the ‘toolkit’, with the preliminary investigation claiming that the toolkit was devised by “pro-Khalistani” organisation Poetic Justice Foundation.

A senior police official told ThePrint that the operation involved tracking her social media handles, in which she was found violating the law by disseminating the ‘toolkit’. She has been booked on charges of sedition, criminal conspiracy and spreading hatred.

Another senior official elaborated that the sequence of events during the farmer protests, including the tractor rally on 26 January leading to violence in Delhi, was traced to be a “copycat” of the alleged action plan shared in the toolkit.

“We have not found any previous record of Disha being part of any physical protests. She was not on the police radar until this arrest. We assisted the Delhi Police in tracking her as is the formality,” said Bengaluru’s Deputy Commissioner of Police (North Division) Dharmendra Kumar Meena.


Also read: Greta toolkit ‘tip of iceberg’ — India sees ‘organised attack piggybacking’ on farm protest


 

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24 COMMENTS

  1. This is what happens when you don’t understand the main issue of the agitation and then get yourself involved in it. Typical young excitable blood. Even Greta Thunberg doesn’t know the real issue. If she had and was a true climate activist with genuine knowledge, she would not have tweeted. She would have realised that if the farm laws are implemented, the water table fast depleted would have been controlled and the stubble burning that takes place now to pollute much of North India today would not happen. And the cheek of the farmers is to challenge the law that asks them to stop stubble burning.

  2. “The Print” had a copy of the toolkit before Greta published it. Maybe you know the answer better.
    Bringing the image of India down, while staying in India should not be a punishable offense.
    We should all thank Greta for making this “good”mistake.

  3. Why should a climate activist support farmers movement whose one of the demand is to allow them burn stubbles and pollute the air in northern part of the country. There must be larger plot in this than it looks on the face of it.

    • Mr Buddhi Prakash Chauhan: Unlike you, Greta Thunberg lives in Sweden, a free country and she has the right to have an opinion about anything. Just as you have a right to criticise her – or anybody else on the planet.

      But since you seem to see a “larger plot” in Thunberg’s criticism, by the same token, care to elaborate on the “larger plot” you are a part of ? In whose payroll are you in Mr Chauhan? Ram Sene ? Bajrang Dal? RSS? Hindu Yuva Vahini ? Some obscure Godse worshipping group like your mentor and fellow Godse worshipper and MP Pragya Thakur ?

  4. Sedition charges are remnants of the monarchy/autocracy brought by the British era and it is high time we do away with such dangerous laws as they have a tendency to be easily abused by the government of the day to promote their agenda. While I do agree that the farm laws seems to be beneficial to the farmers, using these kind of charges against students/activist is shameful especially without any specific proof for the same. In this case for example, the “toolkit” has nowhere mentioned/advocated any form of violence and slapping sedition charges based on this is at best flimsy and potrays the government as whimsical. Hope the government keeps focusing on development and avoid propaganda against its own citizens going forward.

  5. Sham. On modi goverment for doing such shame full act.
    What wrong with tool kit.
    All instructions in tool kit as per the constitution of india.

  6. A sledgehammer to crack a walnut.

    That dog looks suspicious. That butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-his-mouth look doesn’t fool me.

    • Badger: You write

      “.. That dog looks suspicious ..”

      Is the dog a Dalit perhaps? A Muslim? A Khalistani ?

      Perhaps you should file sedition charges against the dog too.

  7. Since Disha Ravi coudn’t find enough Indian kids you needed Khalistani sympathizers and foreigners to collaborate on the toolkit? Climate change is not regime change! Join a political party if you have to. You cannot do all sort of things in the name of climate activism. You actually give a bad name to climate activists

  8. When infected by the lefty or Marxist virus, one loses the ability to distinguish between legitimate protest and sedition against one’s own society. Let this be a lesson for the youth of India.

  9. There are many who do not support the protests and support the legislation because they think this is good for most farmers in India. Why is she and her gang trying to shove their views on us by creating unrest like Jan 26th? She cannot take a high moral ground when she is disturbing our peace in a sleazy way. She thought this will never come out, but luck ran out.

  10. I wonder what climate activism has to do with current farm laws. Well, actually current farm laws only help to improve the climate by reducing unnecessary stubble burning.

  11. Goodness! How imaginative of the police. Tells you that if the courts don’t stop the police from filing chargesheets that make no sense, they will just file even more weirder chargesheets. And in this case it is a 21 year old climate activist.

  12. Where are we going as a country, jailing our young for mere dessert on social media, that to an innocence share. If it is done on purpose , isn’t it too young to send a 21 year old to be dragged from one corner of country to another and to put in jail, I used to read these and thank god that I was in INDIA. But I guess I have to start praying god for India now.

  13. First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a socialist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

      • Mr Kasiviswanathan Krishnan: An equally pertinent question is:

        What GOI policies increase or decrease the support for the Khalistani movement ?

        And perhaps you could also answer the question:

        “Will the BJP and the RSS policy of Hindutva increase or decrease support for the Khalistani movement ?

        After all, it takes 2 hands to clap and you cannot fault Sikhs if they feel threatened by Hindutva and the violence it spawns. Which is where Mr Sheeth’s citing of the famous poem of German priest Martin Niemöller (1892-1984) becomes relevant. In the Hindutva dominated India of today, people keep quiet when Muslims are lynched, Dalits are lynched, Christian are attacked and so on. And after all, don’t Sikhs still have painful memories of 1984 when Hindus were behind the pogroms that killed Sikhs ? And it is a fact that many Hindus were protected by the Congress party and escaped prosecution for their participation in the 1984 pogroms. Just as it is a fact that many Hindus – including prominent BJP and RSS leaders – who participated or organised the 2002 pogroms against Muslims escaped prosecution.

        So get rid of your saffron tinted glasses Mr Kasiviswanathan Krishnan and try to look at the world through the perspective of Indians who are not upper caste, urban, North Indian Hindus. That would be the first step in addressing your tunnel vision.

  14. Dishahin (directionless or misdirected) these people are basically violent but smart enough to encourage violence by others and then become leaders of violent protestors to gain fame.

    This PEOPLE are danger to free society based on kindness and service to poor.

    This people can never be seen feeding hungry people or helping people stuck in disaster with their own resources.

    However wherever there is a chance to promote trouble this people become activist to encourage violence by others.

    This people should be treated as psychopaths with criminal and violent tendencies.

  15. A “climate activist associated with Greta Thunberg” – is this a sufficient qualification to carry out seditious anti-national & criminal activities?
    The tone of your article seems to indicate that.

  16. According to details of the Greta Thunberg ‘Toolkit’ available in LOKMAT dtd 4th Feb., it promotes solidarity with protesting farmers through various means including social media, protests before Indian offices, petitions to international organizations etc. In this there is nothing to show as alleged by Delhi Police that “The call was to wage economic, social, cultural and regional war against India.” Is Govt trying to silence legitimate democratic protests by locking up students and others who may propagate the farmers’ genuine viewpoint or wish to support the farmers ?

    • Sunder, this is not the way you protest. Blocking all highways to country’s capital for months. Try doing this for minutes in Germany, US or any other democracy. Second, you don’t vandalise national monument, on national day, shaming the national flag. Thirdly, you don’t injure 400 police personal to the extent that most of them land in hospital. Anyone who plan or part of planning to such protest must be investigated and brought to book.

      • Mr Vikram: Given your deep insights into how protests should be done / not done, why don’t you publish a “Manual for Modi Friendly Protests” ?

        Yes, many of the activities of the protesters are questionable – assuming again that lumpen elements of the BJP itself did not carry out these acts. Fact is most protests, however peaceful they are in intent, tend to be inflitrated by government agents and or members from rival political or other outfits and violence results. The peaceful protesters will then get blamed for the violence and that in turn will be the trigger to justify a violent crackdown on the protesters by the government. That playbook is extremely common. Even the very peaceful protests of Mahatma Gandhi were inflitrated by lumpen elements to spread violence so as to discredit the Mahatma and the freedom struggle. That happened even during the Chauri Chaura incident of 1922.

        Take for instance the CAA revolts. The demonstrations were entirely peaceful and the protesters were inspired by none other than Mahatma Gandhi and his ideals. As news of the protests spread outside the country, attention was drawn to the inhuman CAA laws. The negative publicity to the Modi regime in influential Western media lead to the brutal police crackdown. In precisely the same manner, the extensive negative publicity of the farmers’ agitations has once again lead to a crackdown – although this time, the Modi government appears to be on the backfoot.

        People like you Mr Vikram remind me of the RSS during the struggle for independence. The RSS sat out the independence struggle wil key members like Savarkar actually collaborating with the British – besides plotting the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. Indeed, your statement:

        “.. Anyone who plan or part of planning to such protest must be investigated and brought to book ..”

        could have been uttered by a British coloniser.

        No wonder, the most widely used tool for repression of dissent of the RSS – err the Modi government – is the sedition paragraph of the Indian Penal Code. The white sahibs have thus been replaced by the saffron brown sahibs. And their useful idiots – some of whom who haunt these columns.

    • Outstanding comment Mr Sunder !

      Nowhere does Greta Thunberg ask for violence to be played out or for people to indulge in seditious activities. However, the BJP under Modi so sensitive to any criticism of Prophet Modi is treated in the manner Pakistan treats people accused of blasphemy. Indeed, the Hindutva fascists are turning India into a Hindu carbon copy of Pakistan’s Islamo fascists. Even the much hated Emergency under then PM Ms Indira Gandhi saw a lot more democratic freedoms in place than under this regime.

      And as your rightly point out, non-violent democratic protests and the freedom to voice opinions that run counter the all-knowing Gujarati pogromwala are now high crimes and seditious activities. Sadly, India’s many middle-class bhkaths, even educated ones support this descent into dictatorship. And we have Ayothollah Adityanath waiting in the wings …

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