fredag 5. februar 2021

Farmers' protest: Why did a Rihanna tweet prompt Indian backlash?

Hours after a tweet by pop superstar Rihanna drew global attention to the cause of protesting farmers, India launched an unprecedented backlash against the Barbadian singer. The ministry of external affairs released a statement criticising "celebrities and others" for their "neither accurate nor responsible" comments, and top ministers and celebrities tweeted against "propaganda" that threatened India's unity.

Some pro-government news channels amplified the establishment voice; one Bollywood actress known for her pro-government opinions called Rihanna a "porn star"; and misogynistic trolls even hailed her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown for assaulting her in 2009. Tens of thousands of farmers have been protesting on the borders of the capital Delhi for more than two months against new laws that will loosen the rules around the sale, pricing and storage of agricultural produce.