They aren’t terrorists, they aren’t threatening foreign forces, they aren’t even armed criminals. But the government of a nation which is literally dependent on agriculture decided to put up barricades, construct walls and line the borders of its capital city with spikes and barbed wire to keep them out. Surprising much? Shocking what the farmers, the supposedly docile section of the nation, can do when they unite?
So now the question, what did they really do to bring about what is at this moment the largest issue of the country? They protested. They protested against the new farmer laws that the government was about to impose. We all know what’s been happening since. Thousands of north Indian farmers, young and old, children and women alike have been spending countless days under the stars around the borders of Delhi in Singhu and Gazipur, protesting to withdraw the new laws. The tune of the mostly peaceful protest broke off as the police started to use force, internet connections were cut off in the area. The incident that happened at the Red Fort on 26th January, though isn’t acceptable, it is understandable. It was the result of outburst of long-suppressed anger. Now, these people weren’t fostered by any political party. They were just farmers. But in this country, nothing is ‘just’ as it is. A completely apolitical protest was flagged as political. The ruling and the opposition parties divided and the blame-game started all over.
As much as the tension was already rising, the incident took a new turn when it caught international attention. International pop-star Rihanna tweeted “why aren’t we talking about this?!” with the hashtag #FarmersProtest and a current photo. And suddenly, everything went haywire! With other international celebs like climate activist Greta Thunberg, former adult filmstar Mia Khalifa and others joining in to support the Indian farmers, the government suddenly sensed some foreign conspiracies uprising to destroy the unity of the nation! (We’ll leave the task of finding the unity, and the conspiracy, to you). And when the wave of the twitter war reached India, the fine line between celebrities and the ruling party started to fade off all of a sudden! While some celebrities like actor-singer Diljit Dosanjh, actress Tapsee Pannu and others had always been supporting the farmers, many others found it safer to support the government. What happened in their tweets is what Feluda would have definitely called “telepathy-r jor”. How else can actors Ajay Devgan, Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty, cricketers Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and badminton player Saina Nehwal all tweet the same words using the same hashtag as the leaders of the ruling party? And by this we mean literally the same words. Remember in school when we used to copy one person’s homework and change the words slightly to not get caught? That’s exactly what they did. It was all a ‘make sentence’ exercise with the words ‘amicable solution’. Go through their twitter handles and you will know what we mean.
With banning twitter handles and hashtags that support the protest and speak anti-government (freedom of speech, anyone?), the government really seems confused about what to do about this twitter war. Are they really planning on an amicable solution or is it all a façade to clear their impression? Let’s wait and watch.