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Greta Thunberg hands out a guideline to support farmers’ protest

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Teen Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who has also been nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, shared a step by step toolkit to help people show support for the Indian farmers, who have been protesting against the central government for past two months against three contentious farm laws.

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This comes amid a pushback from the ruling government after the 18-year-old Thunberg, international pop star Rihanna and lawmakers from the United Kingdom and the United States backed the farmers’ agitation on social media.

On Wednesday, Centre warned the social media supporters against the “temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments” and said the protests were by “a very small section of farmers” in parts of India.

Hours after the Greta posted her first tweet on the Indian farmers’ agitation, she once again took to internet last night to provide people a toolkit that could enable them and educate ways to show their proper support to these agitating farmers.

Her useful toolkit which was initially uploaded last week with the information on showing support to farmers on Republic Day, was deleted and an updated post was shared.

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This new toolkit suggests seven ways to back the agitation:

-Share solidarity Photo/Video Message on social media with hashtags (#FarmersProtest #StandWithFarmers)
-Digital Strike: #AskIndiaWhy Video/Photo Message
-Keep tweeting – Feel free to tag @PMOIndia, @nstomar (Minister of Agriculture & Farmer Welfare), your own heads of state & others who ought to take note, like the IMF, WTO, FAO, World Bank
-Read more about the issue https://ruralindiaonline.org/en/stories/categories/farming-and-its-crisis/
-Physical Actions – Near Indian Embassies, Govt. offices, Media house
-Watch out for (or Join) the Farmers’ March / Parade (a first of its kind) into Delhi and back to the borders
-Call/Email any of your govt representatives and ask them to take action, Sign online Petitions and take action to Divest from fossil fuels.

She also suggested organising protests near the closest Indian embassy on February 13 and February 14.

Her posts come even as the government on Wednesday said, “Before rushing to comment on such matters, we would urge that the facts be ascertained, and a proper understanding of the 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.”

Home Minister Amit Shah had stressed in his tweet, “No propaganda can deter India’s unity! No propaganda can stop India to attain new heights! Propaganda can not decide India’s fate only ‘Progress’ can. India stands united and together to achieve progress”.

Rihanna’s tweet also triggered Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut, who is called the ‘puppet’ of BJP, with responses from actors Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty and Ajay Devgn, filmmaker Karan Johar, and a number of union ministers.

This row started by Rihanna also initiated a response from the government, which not mentioning Rihanna though highlighted “vested interest groups trying to enforce their agenda… tried to mobilise international support against India…”

“A very small section of farmers in parts of India have some reservations about these reforms,” the government said, referring to two months long protest that has seen tens of thousands of farmers across the nation calling out against the fresh farm laws which they call “anti-farm” or “black laws” alleging that it will leave them at the mercy of corporates.

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Furthermore, the farmers are adamant to get these laws replead while, the ruling government has refused to budge from its decision to implement these laws alleging they will be beneficial for the farmers. The government has also stepped up security at three protest epi-centres; Tikri, Singhu and Ghazipur borders by installing barricades, barbed wire fences, nails and trenches on roads which the demonstrators have compared to security arrangements at international borders.

Justifying these “strict measures” the Delhi Police last evening cited the violence on Republic Day.

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