Indian protesters burned pictures of Greta Thunberg after she sided with striking farmers.
Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg has come under fire in recent days after publicly tweeting her solidarity with Indian farmers in their fight to repeal new legislation—that Indian agricultural activists say will only help big corporations and further stamp out small farmers nationwide. Peaceful protests have been ongoing in India since November, with small farmers from across the country striking and demonstrating their displeasure at a set of new laws that aim to deregulate the agricultural sector.
Thunberg and some other international personalities, including Rihanna, have expressed support for the farmers in India, and as a result have set off a criminal conspiracy investigation, as Indian police say they believe the celebrities and activists have been sharing information that originated from a Sikh separatist group.
On Wednesday, Thunberg Tweeted out an updated “toolkit” for supporters of the Indian farmers, which included hashtags to use on social media, petitions to sign, and plans for protests. Thunberg’s Tweet stated the toolkit was created by on-the-ground activists in India, but the Indian government and police have filed a FIR (First Information Report) to open an investigation that cites the toolkit was created by an overseas Sikh group called The Poetic Justice Foundation which advocates for the creation of a sovereign country in the Punjab state that would be known as Khalistan. While the complaint does not mention Thunberg by name, it does seek further information on the origins of the toolkit she and others shared online, according to Delhi police. The Tweets from Thunberg and other well-known personalities, including Meena Harris, the niece of US Vice President Kamala Harris, have sparked ire from supporters of the Indian government who believe non-Indian celebrities should not be interfering in Indian affairs of state or spreading information created by the pro-Khalistan movement.
After the backlash, Thunberg doubled down on her support of the Indian farmers, Tweeting on February 4 “”I still #StandWithFarmers and support their peaceful protest. No amount of hate, threats or violations of human rights will ever change that. #FarmersProtest”. As Indian authorities move forward with their investigation, more protests have been planned for February 13 and 14, with the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee asking supporters worldwide to protest outside Indian embassies and government buildings on those days to apply international pressure on the Modi government to overturn the Union Budget passed in September of 2020.
ARTICLE: LAURA GLENDAY
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: TIMES OF INDIA