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Why Rihanna Supported Indian Farmers

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International pop-star Rihanna stirred a row on social media sharing a CNN news report that spoke about the suspension of internet services in Delhi’s border areas in the wake of ongoing agitation by farmers’ unions over three farm laws passed by Parliament last year.

Rihanna posted her tweet with “#FarmersProtest” to say, “Why aren’t we talking about this?!” It is not clear whether Rihanna objected to the suspension of internet services or commented on the merits of the three farm laws. But her tweet was interpreted by supporters of farmers’ protest as support for their demands.

Her post on Twitter went viral and at least two more internet celebrities — climate activist Greta Thunberg and porn actor-turned-model Mia Khalifa posted tweets on the farmers’ protest in Delhi’s outskirts. That the three celebrities posted within 24 hours on an issue that has united all anti-government camps, leading many to speculate whether the tweets were part of a “coordinated campaign” by some activist groups.

Hailing from Barbados, Rihanna has a history of speaking on global issues — from Covid relief, HIV/AIDS awareness, cancer research to even the right of international students to attain higher education in the US. Her philanthropic work led to Harvard University naming her Humanitarian of the Year in 2017.

However, this might be the first time she has actively spoken about political protests in a foreign nation.

In a celebrity versus celebrity fight, Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut hit out at Rihanna for her tweet. Kangana Ranaut called her a “fool” for tweeting on something the actor called an attempt “to divide India”. Kangana claimed, “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 the USA… Sit down you fool, we are not selling our nation like you dummies.”

Other Indian Twitterati asserted that Rihanna was being paid to post against the Indian government and they traced their assertion to alleged links between Rihanna and Canadian lawmaker Jagmeet Singh.

Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri tweeted, “Rihanna is an ardent follower of Jagmeet Singh of Canada.”

But who is Jagmeet Singh?

Jagmeet Singh, a Canadian parliamentarian, is accused of supporting separatist Khalistan campaign and raising fund for terror groups. He is seen as a “pro-Khalistan” Canadian politician. The Indian government had denied him a visa in 2013 for his strong political views that contravene the official stand of India on its internal issues. He has frequently criticised the actions of the Modi government.

BJP Mahila Morcha’s social media in-charge Priti Gandhi too asked people to “join the dots” sharing a tweet by Jagmeet Singh thanking Rihanna and a news report citing intel report linking the Canadian politician with terror outfits.

Following the comments by Rihanna, Greta Thunberg and Mia Khalifa who have a massive following on Twitter, the Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement calling their remarks as “not responsible”.

The MEA said, “Before rushing to comment on such matters, we urge that facts are ascertained and proper understanding of 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.”

The government said, “a very small section of farmers has reservations about the reforms”.

Courtesy – https://www.indiatoday.in/

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