Social change is happening. People are gathering and demanding change, and then getting arrested for believing in a cause.
In November 2020, three farm laws were signed in India by Modi’s Hindu radical right government. This legislation caused civil unrest, inciting farmers and civil rights supporters to take the streets. Climate Change activist Greta Thunberg tweeted a “toolkit” on the Farmers Protest and participated in the viral hashtags of #AskIndiaWhy, #FramersProtest , #TheWorldIsWatching.
On Republic Day, January 26th 2021, thousands of farmers on the border of New Dehli protested together causing a state of anarchy. The conservative government applied brutal police force, claiming that the farmers collaborated with the Khalistani organization—a Sikh separatist movement.
Police are currently investigating the Farmers Protests as a Civil Uprising, categorising them as terrorist leaving a bad image on India. On February 14th, 22-year-old climate change activist Disha Ravi got arrested for spreading a similar version to Greta Thunberg’s toolkit. According to Delhi’s police the toolkit promotes “enmity between different sections of society, treason, and criminal conspiracy.”
What are the new farming laws?
The 3 new farming laws loosen legislation around the sale, pricing and storage of farm produce—farmers can now sell directly to private buyers. Before sales and prices were set by government controlled markets where a minimum price was guaranteed. Farmers are worried that opening their produce to private buyers will drive the prices down.
What does this toolkit look like?
A toolkit is the online equivalent of informational pamphlets and fliers on protests spread via social media. These may include facts, data, and discourse on the topic of the toolkit.
Disha Ravi shared a now government-encrypted post on her social media, a toolkit on information similar to Greta Thunberg’s, including inciting messages for people around the world to protest outside Indian embassies.
This form of online activism got a 22 year old arrested for speaking up on social and environmental policies. Disha Ravi’s arrest is an attack on democracy and human rights. Join the thousands of people signing a petition to free Disha Ravi under the International Human Rights Court. Speaking up and acting on a cause, be it our people and justice, should not be oppressed by the state.