Rihanna and Greta Thunberg face praise and criticism for tweeting about Indian farmers

Internet - Pop superstar Rihanna caused a stir with her tweet about protesting farmers in India. Climate activist Greta Thunberg then followed suit and expressed her solidarity with the protesters.

Rihanna (33) brought the Indian farmers' plight to the attention of many Twitter users around the world.
Rihanna (33) brought the Indian farmers' plight to the attention of many Twitter users around the world.  © IMAGO / Pacific Press Agency

Thousands of Indian farmers have gathered in the outskirts of New Delhi since November to protest new agricultural laws passed in September. They say they weren't consulted about the legislation and that the new rules will destroy their livelihoods.

On Twitter, Rihanna expressed interest in the protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi's (70) government. She shared a link to a CNN article on internet access being blocked in the area around the demonstrations.

She tweeted: "why aren't we talking about this?!" followed by the hashtag #FarmersProtest.

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The Indian government blocked internet access to 14 of 22 districts in Haryana state near New Delhi, India's capital, after the protests became violent. Thousands of protesters clashed with police while storming New Delhi's historic Red Fort, according to CNN.

India's Ministry of Home Affairs issued the order last Tuesday, and the restrictions were to be in place for just 24 hours. The cut was supposed to be lifted on Sunday but has been extended every day since.

Rihanna shows solidarity, but not everyone likes it

Greta Thunberg (18) also received backlash for calling attention to the farmer's protest in India.
Greta Thunberg (18) also received backlash for calling attention to the farmer's protest in India.  © IMAGO / Bildbyran

Rihanna's tweet generated a lot of attention, and the post has over 200,000 retweets.

Thousands people expressed their horror and thanked the celebrity for drawing attention to the farmers' situation in India. Several media outlets, like the scientific journal World Affairs, promised to look into the matter.

But not everyone was pleased. Former cricket player Pragyan Ojha (34) criticized the musician on Twitter and wrote: "We don’t need an outsider poking her nose in our internal matters!she should rather keep her nose out of his country's affairs."

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But Rihanna wasn't alone: climate activist Greta Thunberg (18) also posted a link to the same CNN article about the internet blackout around the protesting farmers and expressed her support for the demonstrators. She faced similar support and backlash online.

Like Rihanna, Thunberg had to put up with a lot of hostile comments ranging from "You have no idea" to "Stay out of it."

Even if some commenters thought the women were poking their noses where they didn't belong, the two celebrities were definitely successful in generating more awareness for the issue.

Cover photo: IMAGO / Pacific Press Agency

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