The farmer protests in India are getting international attention, with pop star Rihanna and Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg tweeting about the situation. Rihanna angered many Indian users on social media when she tweeted a CNN article and captioned it by saying, “why aren’t we talking about this?! #FarmersProtest”. The tweet has already gotten 213K retweets and 455K likes followed by 69K comments. However, former India cricketer and left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha has responded to the tweet and has blasted the Barbados-born pop singer for ‘poking her nose’ in an internal matter. “My country is proud of our farmers and knows how important they are, I trust it will be addressed soon. We don’t need an outsider poking her nose in our internal matters!,” Pragyan Ojha tweeted to Rihanna.
The Union Home Affairs Ministry on Monday extended temporarily suspension of internet services till February 2 at Delhi’s — Singhu, Ghazipur, and Tikri borders to maintain law and order amid the farmers’ protest against the newly-enacted farm laws. According to the Home Ministry order, “In exercise of powers conferred under sub-rule 1 of Rule 2 of the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety Rules 2017), and in the interest of maintaining public safety and averting public emergency, it is necessary and expedient to order the temporary suspension of Internet services in Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri and their adjoining areas in the National Capital Territory from 11 pm on January 31 to 11 pm on February 2.” On Monday, the police officials also fenced the Delhi border near Ghazipur with barbed wires to stop the protesting farmers from entering the national capital from Uttar Pradesh. The police also deployed heavy security at the Ghazipur protest site.
Immense criticism for Rihanna
Apart from Pragyan Ojha, Bollywood star Kangana Ranaut reacted sharply to Rihanna’s tweet. Kangana wrote, “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 (sic).” There was support as well for Rihanna, with Diljit Dosanjh expressed gratitude in the most subtle way, by taking to his Instagram story and sharing a photo of Rihanna with the song ‘Run This Town’ by Jay Z playing in the backdrop.
The police carried out a baton charge and fired teargas shells following the clash on Friday over the locals’ demand to clear the roads which have been closed for the last two months as the farmers are camping there to protest against the Centre’s new farm laws.
The farmers and the locals also pelted stones at each other. On January 26, after the violent clashes in several parts of Delhi, Internet services were temporarily suspended in several areas as a precautionary measure.