Since November, thousands of farmers have encamped outside the Indian capital city New Delhi, are protesting against the farm laws passed in September.
And just a few days ago the #FarmersProtest went global with just a single tweet by the American pop singer Rihanna who has more than 100 million Twitter followers.
Rihanna had written just a single line wrote “why aren’t we talking about this?!”, with a link to a news story about an internet blackout at protesting sites.
The citizens of the world’s largest democracy came out hitting at the US singer, and other celebrities who voiced support for #FarmersSupport, while India’s foreign ministry called Rihanna“sensationalist”.
“The temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments, especially when resorted to by celebrities and others, is neither accurate nor responsible,” said the foreign ministry on Wednesday.
And that’s what we call the power of Twitter, Rihanna’s single post was retweeted by more than one million people.
Following Rihanna, a number of international celebrities, political leaders, and activists, including Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, Meena Harris, an American lawyer and niece of US Vice President Kamala Harris, actor Amanda Cerni, singers Jay Sean, Dr. Zeus, and former adult star Mia Khalifa, have voiced their support the protesting farmers.
Lmao they called us “Rihanna's band of propagandists” someone PLEASE make an album cover— Meena Harris (@meenaharris) February 4, 2021
#India: We call on the authorities and protesters to exercise maximum restraint in ongoing #FarmersProtests. The rights to peaceful assembly & expression should be protected both offline & online. It's crucial to find equitable solutions with due respect to #HumanRights for all.— UN Human Rights (@UNHumanRights) February 5, 2021
Self-educate. Question everything. Don’t be a sheep in a world of wolves.— Amanda Cerny (@AmandaCerny) February 5, 2021
Tweets from international celebrities have brought a social media storm in India.
A number of Indian celebrities came out calling international celebrities terming these protests their internal matter without realizing that such behavior is humiliating the face of democracy in India.
A number of Cricketers including Sachin Tendulkar, Bollywood singer Lata Mangeshkar, and actors and directors, including Anupam Kher, Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty, and Karan Johar, joined the bandwagon against the international celebrities labeling them foreigners ”, using the same hashtags promoted by the government.
It has become the biggest challenge to Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi since he took power in 2014.
India’s sovereignty cannot be compromised. External forces can be spectators but not participants.— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) February 3, 2021
Indians know India and should decide for India. Let's remain united as a nation.#IndiaTogether #IndiaAgainstPropaganda
Here is how social media reacts to Indian celebrities’ tweets hiding behind the government.
One of my favourite photos: soaking wet and sharing a cup of tea with Prime Minister Modi after our @Discovery jungle adventure together. This moment reminds me of how the wild is the ultimate leveller. We are all the same behind the titles and masks. #adventureunitesus pic.twitter.com/9EQPAeUOLO— Bear Grylls (@BearGrylls) February 5, 2021
Time he changes his name to $adhguru.— Saket Gokhale (@SaketGokhale) February 5, 2021
Will say anything you want for $$. pic.twitter.com/LLPbZwkUol
In the Indian farmers vs Indian govt match, #SachinTendulkar is batting for the govt.— Raghu Ram (@tweetfromRaghu) February 4, 2021
As being reported, responding to Twitter reactions, the Indian government had threatened Twitter with “penal action” for unlocking 250 accounts and tweets on the farmers’ protests that the US company had earlier blocked.
The microblogging site did take an initial action following a government notice however, the decision was reversed after a few hours.