After several international personalities spoke in favour of the farmer protests, the Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement on Wednesday warning against the “temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments” about the government’s new agricultural laws.
The ministry said that the comments were “neither accurate nor responsible”, adding that the protests were by “a very small section of farmers” in parts of India.
“We would like to emphasise that these protests must be seen in the context of India’s democratic ethos and polity, and the efforts of the Government and the concerned farmer groups to resolve the impasse,” the statement added. “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.”
Pop singer Rihanna made waves on Wednesday by tweeting a news article about the farmers’ protests against the recently passed agriculture reforms. “Why aren’t we talking about this?!” she asked, using the hashtag #FarmersProtest.
Rihanna had shared a CNN article about the Centre’s decision to block internet services at three protest sites near Delhi borders, a favoured tactic of the Narendra Modi government to thwart protests. Internet was also suspended in districts of Haryana, following violence on Republic Day.
The tweet went viral on social media, leading to an outpouring of support from the international community for the farmers. Celebrities and activists from around the world extended their support to the farmers’ movement, with some outraging over the Narendra Modi government’s handling of the crisis.