Last week witnessed a massive uproar when women from across the world used various social media platforms to express their bold opinions. The ongoing farmers’ protests in India caught the eye of many international personalities, and then there were other burning issues such as the budget, growing intolerance towards dissent, anti-Muslim propaganda, etc., that were also taken up.
Last week saw pop star Rihanna, environment activist Greta Thunberg and lawyer and author Meena Harris brought attention to India’s farmers’ protest through their tweets. Their posts faced severe backlash from the right wing, with many asking these global icons to stay away from India’s ‘internal matter.’
Meena responded highlighting the various problems with the ongoing resistance against the farmers’ protests.
This isn't just about agricultural policy. It's also about the persecution of a vocal religious minority. It's police violence, militant nationalism, and attacks on labor rights. It's global authoritarianism. Don't tell me to stay out of your affairs. These are all of our issues.
— Meena Harris (@meenaharris) February 5, 2021
Journalist Rituparna Chatterjee spoke up against the unfair violence and resistance being faced by the protesting farmers’ and anyone who is supporting them.
Just for those who needs this spelt out — the global attention on India isn't just because of the farm laws and whether farmers are for it or against it. It's because of state reaction to dissent and protests. And that, in any country, isn't simply an internal matter.
— Rituparna Chatterjee (@MasalaBai) February 4, 2021
While many Bollywood A-listers either keeping mum or taking up the government backed ‘India against propaganda’ stance, actors such as Taapsee Pannu and Sonakshi Sinha were fearless in calling out the problems that the country’s democracy is facing these days.
If one tweet rattles your unity, one joke rattles your faith or one show rattles your religious belief then it’s you who has to work on strengthening your value system not become ‘propaganda teacher’ for others.
— taapsee pannu (@taapsee) February 4, 2021
Sonakshi Sinha showing how it’s done pic.twitter.com/ntkTneSI2R
— AK-47 | farmers stan (@TheToxicJatt) February 4, 2021
Earlier in the week, Twitter withheld several accounts in India including magazine 'Caravan', the farmers' protest account Kisan Ekta Morcha for about 12 hours. ANI reported earlier in the day that the accounts were withheld based on the request of the Ministry of Home Affairs and law enforcement agencies to prevent any escalation of law and order situation during the farmers’ agitation.
Actor Swara Bhasker called out the Twitter administrators.
— Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) February 1, 2021
Journalist Rana Ayyub further spoke on the situation with the context of the emergency in Myanmar.
We are talking about Emergency in Myanmar but nobody is talking about the undeclared emergency in India. Journalists, activists charged with sedition for reporting on the farmers protest, their twitter accounts suspended, the world cannot afford to ignore this dictatorship
— Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) February 1, 2021
Actor and entrepreneur Gul Panag wrote about the unfair treatment being extended to the Sikh community.
“If the Sikh community.....continues to be branded as Khalistani by the neo-nationalists and a section of the media with the perceived support of the ruling dispensation, then the consequences for national security will be horrendous. “
— Gul Panag (@GulPanag) February 4, 2021
On February 1, Finance Minister presented the highly-anticipated Union Budget 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here is what Sushmita Dev, President of All India Mahila Congress had to say about it.
Modi Govt’s #Budget2021 plans to sell public infra to crony friends.
Provides NO relief to marginalised.
Hits hard at the Middle Class by Taxing PF. Nothing to promote Women at Workplace. No respite on Petrol, Diesel & LPG.
Assaults Rural Women by slashing NREGA fund by 42%.
— Sushmita Dev (@sushmitadevinc) February 1, 2021
Meanwhile, stand up comedian Munawar Faruqi who was in jail for over a month was granted bail by the Supreme Court. He had been arrested over allegations of "insulting Hindu Gods and Goddesses" during a show. However, no evidence has been produced till now.
Journalist Rohini Singh posted about the comedian not getting the justice he deserved.
Don’t think it’s enough or justice that #MunawarFaruqui has got bail. Not only must the cases against him be quashed but the strictest action should be taken against the cops who filed the fraud cases. That’s what a fair nation would do.
— Rohini Singh (@rohini_sgh) February 5, 2021
(Edited by Varnika Gupta)