Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli has joined a growing list of national celebrities and political leaders, including Home Affairs Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, to tweet about unity with farmers – a six-pop star support for protesters of the institute’s agricultural laws.
“Let us all remain united in this hour of conflict. Farmers are an important part of our country and I am confident that a solution will be found that will develop between all parties to bring peace and prosperity together,” Mr Kohli tweeted late Wednesday.
Mr Kohli was not as outspoken as the others – previously Sambit Patra of the BJP declared Rihanna (a resident of the Caribbean island of Barbados) and Lebanese-American model Mia Khalifa “foreign”.
Both Rihanna and Ms Khalifa wrote on Twitter in support of the farmers.
Let us all remain united in this hour of disagreement. Farmers are an important part of our country and I am confident that a solution will be found that will develop between all parties to bring peace and prosperity together. #All India
Mr Kohli’s tweet was immediately followed by one with similar names from another cricketer Ajinkya Rahane, India’s vice-captain.
Mr Rahane sent out: “There is no problem that cannot be solved if we work together in unity. Let us remain united and work to solve our internal problems.”
There is no problem that cannot be solved if we stand together as one. Let’s stay united and work to resolve our internal issues #IndiaA total
Rohit Sharma then sent (again) a tweet with the same words: “India has always been very strong when we are all standing together and finding a solution is a need for an hour. Our farmers play a vital role in the well-being of our nation and I am sure everyone will play their part.” .
On Tuesday night Rihanna wrote to her 100 million followers on Twitter: “Why don’t we talk about this #FarmersProtest?” and shared an article on farmers’ protests by CNN for American news.
Her tweet was immediately followed by many such messages, including one former youth weather activist Greta Thunberg and another Meena Harris, an American lawyer and nephew of U.S. Vice President Kamuka Harris.
Rihanna’s tweet also sparked outrage – including the abusive response of actress Kangana Ranaut – and responses from actors Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn, filmmaker Karan Johar.
There were also tweets praising Rihanna for speaking freely, while revealing that Indian celebrities have been silent on the issue of tears shedding and lawsuits against farmers.
The retreat followed an official response from the government – a response that did not mention Rihanna but revealed that “interested parties are trying to force their agenda … they are trying to mobilize international support against India …”
“A very small percentage of farmers in parts of India have some doubts about these changes,” the government said, referring to protests that have seen tens of thousands of farmers across India express their concern about laws that they say will endanger their lives.
Many farmers in India are protesting the new rules of the center, claiming that they are endangering their lives by allowing the firms of large corporations to harass them.
Last week a farmers’ tractor rally passing through Delhi turned violent after some groups stormed the Red Fort, resulting in the death of one person and injuring hundreds of police officers.
Since then the security measures for the center have been improved, barbed wire, concrete barriers and barriers to prevent farmers from entering the national capital.