Greta Thunberg, others extend support to farmers' protest

·3-min read

New Delhi, Feb 3 (PTI) Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg and US Vice President Kamala Harris' niece are among several people from the international community who have come out in support of the farmers' protest against the Centre's new agriculture laws.

Their remarks came soon after international pop star Rihanna shared a news article highlighting the Centre's crackdown on the farmers by cutting off Internet services in many regions.

'We stand in solidarity with the #FarmersProtest in India,' Thunberg had tweeted on Tuesday, tagging a CNN news report headlined: 'India cuts internet around New Delhi as protesting farmers clash with police.' She also shared 'a toolkit for those who want to help'.

'Here's a toolkit if you want to help,' tweeted Thunberg, which takes the user to a document containing details on ways to support the protest.

In the document, various urgent actions, including creating a Twitter storm and protesting outside Indian embassies, were listed which were needed to be taken to support farmers' protest.

Meena Harris, an American lawyer who is the niece of Kamala Harris, had said, '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,' Meena Harris tweeted.

Earlier on Tuesday, Rihanna had tweeted, 'Why aren't we talking about this?! #FarmersProtest.' India reacted sharply on Wednesday to comments by the foreign celebrities and others, saying a very small section of farmers in parts of the country had some reservations about the farm reforms and a proper understanding of the issue was needed before rushing to comment on the agitation.

'The temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments, especially when resorted to by celebrities and others, is neither accurate nor responsible,' the Ministry of External Affairs said in a curt statement.

Nine-year-old climate activist Licypriya Kangujam had asked Thunberg to support the protest, saying farmers were already battling the climate crisis.

'Hi @GretaThunberg! Please extend support to the voice of millions of Indian farmers. This is the world''s biggest historic protest for their rights,' Kanjugam, who is also called 'India''s Greta Thunberg', tweeted.

Vanessa Nakate, a Ugandan climate activist, has also come out in support of the farmers.

'Let us talk about what is happening in India right now #FarmersProtest,' Nakate tweeted, tagging Kangujam.

In another tweet, Kangujam had said, 'Dear friends, Our millions of poor farmers sleeping in the streets in this cold weather don't expect anything from you. Just your one tweet of love and support /solidarity to their cause means a lots to them. Our Indian celebrities get lost.' Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting at Delhi's borders for over two months demanding repeal of the three farm laws and legal guarantee of minimum support price for their crops.

Farmer unions have announced a countrywide blockade of national and state highways for three hours on Saturday when they would block in protest against the Internet ban in areas near their agitation sites, harassment allegedly meted out to them by authorities and other issues.

Sites of the farmer protest at Delhi's borders have turned into fortresses with police beefing up security and putting up multi-layer barricades to stop the movement of vehicles. Concertina wires have also been put up to keep off people on foot.

The strengthened security measures come after the violence during the Republic Day tractor parade by the farmers. PTI UZM AAR AAR