The ongoing farmers’ protest since months is creating great hue and cry in the capital city of Delhi. Massive upheaval had taken place on Republic Day when protesters allegedly crossed the line and violated rules. In order to curb further disturbance, government had to shut down the internet connection across the region and bordering areas.
Hollywood singer Rihanna posted a tweet in support of the protesting farmers which read: “Why aren’t we talking about this?” The tweet however did not go down too well with many celebrities. They started tweeting with hashtags – #IndiaTogether and #IndiaAgainstPropaganda – in support of the government and their unhappiness over Rihanna’s interference.
From Bharat Ratna winners Sachin Tendulkar and Lata Mangeshkar to actors Akshay Kumar, Kangana Ranaut and Ajay Devgn, filmmaker Karan Johar, producer Ektaa Kapoor and cricketer Virat Kohli, the celebrities took to Twitter soon after the Ministry of External Affairs reacted to Rihanna, teen climate activist Greta Thunberg and others who highlighted the protests on social media.
Quoting the ministry’s statement, Akshay Kumar wrote: “Farmers constitute an extremely important part of our country. And the efforts being undertaken to resolve their issues are evident. Let’s support an amicable resolution, rather than paying attention to anyone creating differences. #IndiaTogether #IndiaAgainstPropaganda.”
Ace cricketer and Rajya Sabha member Sachin Tendulkar too came out in support of the government. He tweeted: “India’s sovereignty cannot be compromised. External forces can be spectators but not participants. Indians know India and should decide for India. Let’s remain united as a nation.”
Many other cricketers joined him such as India captain Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Rudra Pratap Singh, Suresh Raina and Anil Kumble, who tweeted that India is “more than capable of taking her internal issues to amicable solutions”.
“Let us all stay united in this hour of disagreements. Farmers are an integral part of our country and I’m sure an amicable solution will be found between all parties to bring about peace and move forward together,” tweeted Kohli.
Veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar also tweeted. She wrote: “India is a glorious nation and we all Indians stand with our heads held high. As a proud Indian, I have faith, that any issues or problems that as a country we face; we are fully equipped to resolve them amicably, keeping the interest of our people in mind. Jai Hind.”
While Ajau Devgn warned people to stay away from all kinds of false propaganda. While filmmaker Karan Johar tweeted and said: “While Devgn urged people to be wary of “false propaganda against India or Indian policies”, Johar, who had been the target of trolls following the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput last year, tweeted that the country should not let “anyone divide us”. Actors Suniel Shetty, Anupam Kher and singer Kailash Kher, too, lent their voices against Rihanna.
There was also a section of celebrities who extended their support to the farmers. Vocalist T M Krishna tweeted: “It is pathetic to see so-called celebrities tweet about how ‘outsiders’ have no business speaking about the farmer’s strike. No one stopped anyone from saying anything about all that went on in the US did they? This level of sucking up is truly disgusting!”
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor also came forward and tweeted: “For GoI to get Indian celebrities to react to Western ones is embarrassing. The damage done to India’s global image by GoI’s obduracy & undemocratic behaviour can’t be remedied by a cricketer’s tweets. Withdraw the farm laws &discuss solutions w/farmers & you’ll get #IndiaTogether.”
Other celebrities who came in support of Rihanna included actors Richa Chadha, Swara Bhasker, Taapsee Pannu, Ali Fazal, US-based Indian filmmaker Ritesh Batra and filmmaker Hansal Mehta.
Actor-singer Diljit Dosanjh, who has consistently shown his support for the farmers, came up with a song Ri Ri on Wednesday afternoon, dedicating it to Rihanna. Actor Sayani Gupta mourned the silence of mainstream Bollywood celebrities and sportspeople on the contentious issue, writing “Dear Indian celebrities/ actors/ sportsmen/ musicians/stars, grow some spine. Love.”