It’s Bollywood versus Rihanna; Indian government brings its own stars to counter the popstar’s tweet about farmers' protest

It’s Bollywood versus Rihanna; Indian government brings its own stars to counter the popstar’s tweet about farmers' protest
  • International pop star Rihanna took the country by surprise as she tweeted about the ongoing farmers protest.
  • India’s Ministry of External Affairs has since called the tweets by foreign individuals sensational and irresponsible.
  • Bollywood stars like Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn, Karan Johar have taken to Twitter asking people not to “fall for any propaganda”.
On Wednesday morning, Indian government came under global scrutiny for the way it is handling the ongoing farmers’ protest. This was after American pop star Rihanna tweeted about the agitation.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs said that tweets by foreign individuals are “sensational and irresponsible”.

“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,” said the ministry in a statement.

Thereon, #IndiaTogether has been trending on Twitter. Bollywood celebrities, many of whom had not yet spoken about the protest; and political leaders have been urging people not “fall for any propaganda” under the hashtag.

That includes A-list celebrities like Akshay Kumar, Karan Johar, Ajay Devgn and more.

The government has also reportedly issued a notice to Twitter, asking it to take a tough stand against "offensive" hashtags and handles regarding the farmers protest. They were probably referring to the hashtag #ModiPlanningFarmerGenocide.

“This is a motivated campaign to abuse, inflame and create tension in society on unsubstantiated grounds… The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology [Meity] had passed an interim order dated 31.01.2021 as a matter of emergency blocking 257 URLs and one hashtag under section 69 A of the Information Technology Act, 2000… Incitement to genocide is not a freedom of speech. It is a threat to law and order,” an India Today report quoted the statement from the Ministry.

Rihanna’s tweet brought global attention to the protest in India, which has been going on for months now. Meanwhile, many Indians have poured in support for the pop star. In fact, Indian actor Diljit Dosanjh has even released a new song dedicated to Rihanna.

Farmers have been seeking a rollback of the country’s new farm laws. After a tractor rally took a violent turn on January 26 in the national capital, the government blocked the Internet in Delhi, and deployed heavy security at its borders. It also built concrete walls with cemented nails to prevent protestors from entering the capital.

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