Climate activist Greta Thunberg attracted the anger of the Indian government and citizens after she supported violent farmers’ protests in the country. Many farmers are protesting against three laws that the government recently passed.
Tens of thousands of farmers have been camping on the outskirts of New Delhi since November while protesting against the laws they fear will allow large corporations to squash them. While claiming that the laws will be detrimental to them, there are other farmers who support the move, as they believe it will significantly boost their livelihood. The three bills would unlock the country’s excessively regulated agriculture market and allow farmers to get investment from large companies. It may enable farmers to use modern technology to boost productivity.
However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stated that the bills can modernize ancient, out-of-date farming methods. The farmers who do not like these bills are angrily protesting against the government.
Greta Thunberg’s toolkit tweet
Doing so, they have gained the support of Thunberg. In one of her tweets, the activist shared a farmers protest “toolkit” outlining a global campaign to step up violent protests against the Indian government under the guise of human rights. Thunberg deleted the tweet shortly after that.
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The initial inquiry has revealed that the “toolkit” was created by a pro-Khalistani Organisation “Poetic Justice Foundation,” police said in a statement. Many of the protesters are from the Punjab state. They appear to be creating a separate homeland in Khalistan, Punjab.
Following the toolkit tweet, Delhi police have filed a complaint regarding instigation acts that threaten social harmony. However, Thunberg is not currently a target for the case.
“We haven’t named anybody in the FIR, it’s only against the creators of toolkit which is a matter of investigation & Delhi Police will be investigating that case… Sections in FIR are 124 A IPC-spreading disaffection against Govt of India, it’s regarding sedition, 153 A-promoting hatred amongst various communities on social/cultural/religious grounds, same is 153 & 120 B for criminal conspiracy to give shape to such a plan,” Praveer Ranjan, Delhi Police Special Commissioner of Police (CP), said in a statement.
Some of the planned actions mentioned in the farmers’ toolkit include:
- A Global Tweet Storm: Posting exact tweets detailed in the document is to gain international attention. It lists several organizations and propaganda websites that support the movement.
- One of the influencers mentioned in the document that would extend support to the farmer’s protests is the American singer Rihanna.
- The intention to discredit India’s image of being a land of yoga and chai (tea) and to create a negative impression of the country.
- The toolkit details the plan to demonstrate at various Indian embassies.
One of the organizations listed in the document supporting the farmers’ protest is “FFF India,” a climate activist group. In a Facebook post, FFF India has tagged “Extinction Rebellion,” which received strong support from Thunberg.
“Extinction Rebellion is a global environmental movement which was established in May 2018 and is headquartered in the United Kingdom. In the course of its existence, Extinction Rebellion has exploded in popularity across the world, including a presence in India… In the brief history of Extinction Rebellion, it has been tarred with numerous allegations of violence, extremism, class bias, and more,” as stated in an article by OpIndia.
One Indian official said that the document also had a plan to misrepresent India even if it had revoked the three farm bills.
The protests caused injury to hundreds of police officers and one death: the government and the public view Thunberg’s support of the violent protests as an act of rebellion against India’s authority.