Pop superstar Rihanna and climate activist Greta Thunberg have drawn the ire of the Indian government after they tweeted in support of the huge protests against the new farm laws.
Tens of thousands of farmers have been camped on the outskirts of India’s capital New Delhi since November, calling for a repeal of laws they fear will allow large corporations to crush them.
Rihanna, who has more than 100 million followers on Twitter, wrote “why aren’t we talking about this?! #FarmersProtest”, with a link to a news story about a government crackdown that included an internet blackout.
Her comment was retweeted more than 230,000 times and liked by more than half a million users.
She was joined by several international celebrities, including legislators from the United States and Britain, who expressed their solidarity with the protesting .
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, one of the world’s most prominent environmental campaigners, also tweeted a story about the internet blackout, saying: “We stand in solidarity with the #FarmersProtest in India.”
There was also support from the niece of US Vice President Kamala Harris, whose mother was born in India.
“We ALL should be outraged by India’s internet shutdowns and paramilitary violence against farmer protesters,” tweeted Meena
The international celebrity tweets triggered an online storm in India, where the farmers’ protests have become one of the biggest challenges to Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi since he took power in 2014.
India’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday the celebrities needed “a proper understanding of the issues”.