International singer, actress and businesswoman Rihanna posted a tweet in the support of ongoing farmers protest in India’s capital New Delhi, saying, “Why aren’t we talking about this?”.
Rihanna said in a Twitter post while sharing a CNN article on the suspension of internet access at the borders of New Delhi following the ongoing protest by hundreds of farmers continued for months against the controversial agriculture reforms introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Indian government.
The US pop superstar raised the voice for Indian farmers with her over 101 million followers on Twitter by using hashtag #FarmersProtest.
Rihanna’s tweet has garnered 197.6 thousand retweets, 417.8 thousand likes and 61.9 thousand comments so far.
The protesting farmers expressed gratefulness to Rihanna for her support and timely gesture.
The ongoing protests by Indian farmers gathered attention across the globe.
Climate and Environmental Activist, Greta Thunberg, has also expressed her support to the Indian farmers by sharing the same story, saying, “We stand in solidarity with the #FarmersProtest in India.”
A Hollywood actor John Cusack had also expressed solidarity with Indian farmers. He captioned his tweet that Sikh farmers are uniting and uprising in New Delhi – wild story unfolding.
India had blocked mobile internet services in several areas surrounding New Delhi on January 30 as protesting farmers began a one-day hunger strike after a week of clashes with authorities that left one dead and hundreds injured.
Angry at new agricultural laws that they say benefit large private buyers at the expense of producers, tens of thousands of farmers have been camped at protest sites on the outskirts of the capital for over two months.
A planned tractor parade on Tuesday’s Republic Day anniversary turned violent when some protesters deviated from pre-agreed routes, tore down barricades and clashed with police, who used tear gas to try and restrain them.
Sporadic clashes between protesters, police and groups shouting anti-farmer slogans have broken out on multiple occasions since then.
India’s interior ministry said on Saturday internet services at three locations on the outskirts of New Delhi where protests are occurring had been suspended until 11 p.m. (1730 GMT) on Sunday to “maintain public safety”.
Indian authorities often block internet services when they believe there will be unrest, although the move is unusual in the capital.
At the main protest site near the village of Singhu on the northern outskirts of the city, there was a heightened police presence on Saturday, as hundreds of tractors arrived from Haryana, one of two states at the centre of the protests.
Farm leaders said Saturday’s hunger strike, to coincide with the death anniversary of Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi, would show Indians that the protesters were overwhelmingly peaceful.
“The farmers’ movement was peaceful and will be peaceful,” said Darshan Pal, a leader of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha group of farm unions organising the protests.
“The events on January 30 will be organised to spread the values of truth and non-violence.”
Agriculture employs about half of India’s population of 1.3 billion, and unrest among an estimated 150 million landowning farmers is one of the biggest challenges to the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi since first coming to power in 2014.
Eleven rounds of talks between farm unions and the government have failed to break the deadlock. The government has offered to put the laws on hold for 18 months, but farmers say they will not end their protests for anything less than a full repeal.