Teen climate campaigner Greta Thunberg, who has been nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, has shared a toolkit to help people show support for the farmers’ protest on Delhi’s outskirts. This comes amid a pushback from the centre after Ms Thunberg, 18, international pop icon Rihanna and lawmakers from the United States and the United Kingdom backed the farmers’ agitation on social media.
Yesterday, the government warned against the “temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments” and said the protests were by “a very small section of farmers” in parts of India.
Hours after the Swedish climate activist posted her first tweet on the agitation that began late November against three controversial laws , Ms Thunberg yet again threw her weight behind the protest last night.
She posted a toolkit – that had information on showing support on Republic Day, which was last week. Later, the post – which was outdated – was deleted and an updated post was shared.
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) February 3, 2021
This one suggested seven ways to back the agitation: 1)Share solidarity Photo/Video Message on social media with hashtags (#FarmersProtest #StandWithFarmers); 2) Digital Strike: #AskIndiaWhy Video/Photo Message; 3) Keep tweeting – Feel free to tag @PMOIndia, @nstomar (Minister of Agriculture & Farmer Welfare), your own heads of state & others who ought to take note, like the IMF, WTO, FAO, World Bank; 4) Read more about the issue https://ruralindiaonline.org/en/stories/categories/farming-and-its-crisis/; 5) Physical Actions – Near Indian Embassies, Govt. offices, Media house; 6) Watch out for (or Join) the Farmers’ March / Parade (a first of its kind) into Delhi and back to the borders; 7) Call/Email any of your govt representatives and ask them to take action, Sign online Petitions and take action to Divest from fossil fuels.
She also suggested organising protests near the closest Indian embassy on February 13 and February 14.
Her posts come even as the centre on Wednesday said: “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.”
In a tweet, Home Minister Amit Shah stressed: “No propaganda can deter India’s unity! No propaganda can stop India to attain new heights! Propaganda can not decide India’s fate only ‘Progress’ can. India stands united and together to achieve progress”.
Apart from Mr Shah, many other celebrities – including sports personalities Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohla, Bollywood actors Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn, – tweeted statements, asserting: “Let’s remain united”.
Thousands have been protesting against the three laws, which they say will leave them at the mercy of corporates, at Delhi’s borders. In the last one week, after protesters clashed with police on Republic Day during a massive tractor rally, security has been stepped up at three protest epicentres. Visuals show barricades, barbed wire fences, nails and trenches on roads and protesters have compared the measures to security arrangements at international borders.
Police have justified it all, citing the Republic Day violence.