Rihanna (Image courtesy: Instagram)
Rihanna (Image courtesy: Instagram)

"Rihanna, Thunberg rallying for wrong cause in farmers' protests"

ANI | Updated: Feb 06, 2021 05:09 IST

Washington [US], February 6 (ANI): While a tweet by pop icon Rihanna on farmers agitation in India kicked up an Internet storm, an Indian-born American writer and journalist based in Washington points out that the international superstar along with other celebrities like climate activist Greta Thunberg and US Vice President Kamala Harris' niece Meena Harris, are mostly wrong in their supportive stance for the protests.
Sadanand Dhume for the Wall Street Journal writes that the celebrities, including climate activist Greta Thunberg and US Vice President Kamala Harris' niece Meena Harris, are mostly wrong in their supportive stance for the protests.
Rihanna's tweet on Tuesday linked to a news story about the internet blockade at the protest sites and soon went viral, gaining more than 700,000 likes. "Why aren't we talking about this?!" wrote the singer, who has 100 million followers on the social network.
On February 2, Rihanna tweeted linking to a news story on Internet shutdown at the protest sites, following violence during the tractor rally organised by farmers on January 26. "Why aren't we talking about this?!" wrote the singer referencing the story on farmers protesting on the borders of India's capital against the three agriculture laws introduced by the Central government last year.
If the details are studied carefully, protesting farmers come mostly from a relatively privileged minority who benefit from an unsustainable procurement system set up more than 50 years ago, which has led to India's leading experts on agriculture to urge reform for at least two decades, says Dhume in the Wall Street Journal.
"If implemented, the new farm laws would likely help many more farmers than they will hurt," writes Dhume.
The writer opines that the idea of the government wanting to oppress farmers is absurd. If anything, he says it's trying to help them by allowing market forces to generate prosperity.
Should the government back down now, it will mark a major setback for economic reform in India and narrow opportunities for the majority of Indian farmers, who are not on the streets protesting, he says.
Speaking of the environment, while the new laws don't address the related issues directly, but they take a step toward dismantling a dysfunctional system that has contributed to an environmental disaster, writes Dhume.
After Rihanna's tweet, Swedish teenage climate activist Thunberg tweeted "We stand in solidarity with the #FarmersProtest in India."
Meanwhile, Meena Harris on Wednesday tweeted: She wrote on Twitter, "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," she added.
Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 last year against the three newly enacted farm laws: Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. (ANI)