NEW DELHI: In order to defend the Indian capital from its own farmers, ditches, concertina wire, nails pounded into paths, concrete girders, high walls and container levels have sprung up around Delhi, and a former diplomat compared the scene to the Berlin Wall in 1989 on Wednesday.
The farmers said they were determined to continue their nonviolent protest and a big meeting of their leaders in Jind in Haryana agreed to move ahead with their proposal to revoke three farm laws that they see as benefiting business allies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The battle-lines extended to parliament, where an unexpectedly cohesive opposition called for conformity with the months-old appeal of the farmers.
But the government has also hardened its posture, authorising news outlets to heap violence against demonstrators, branding them terrorists and Khalistanis.
After American pop star Rihanna and climate campaigner Greta Thunberg expressed solidarity with the farmers’ struggle, India’s foreign ministry entered the fight against international celebrities.
“A statement on the ever-conniving and still evasive “vested interest groups” that have tried to “mobilise foreign support against India” was issued by the ministry, The Wire said.
“Needless to say, Akshay Kumar, Bollywood’s epitome of patriotism, immediately tweeted out his support for the declaration by the MEA.
He was accompanied by Sunil Shetty, Ekta Kapoor and Karan Johar, and it is likely that as the day continues, more will join these ‘loyalty’ demonstrations.
Stated The Cable. Also, Sachin Tendulkar tweeted his government support.
Rihanna’s remark was accompanied by Ms Thunberg, a Swedish activist. She said, “We stand in solidarity with the protests against farmers in India.”
“Ms Meena Harris commented, “It is no accident that not even a month ago, the world’s oldest democracy was targeted, and as we speak, the world’s most populous democracy is under threat. It’s connected. India’s internet shutdowns and militia brutality against farmers’ protestors could outrage all of us.
Ms. Meena Harris is the daughter of Ms. Kamala Harris’s sister, Maya Lakshmi Harris.
In the meantime, the Indian government has given a notice to Twitter to comply with its directive to delete ‘farmer genocide’ related material. The government believed that the content was meant to disseminate disinformation to inflame emotions and hate and cautioned that failure to do so might cause criminal action.
Twitter reinstated over 250 accounts on Tuesday evening, hours after banning them due to “legal demand.”
The site opposed the request in a meeting with government authorities, claiming that certain accounts were not in breach of Twitter’s rules, and refused to comply with the government’s decision.