Remember the #BlackLivesMatter movement that shook the whole world with an incident that happened to George Perry Floyd Jr.? Yes, the incident took place in Minneapolis, in the United States. The whole world saw a series of protests in various parts of the world. But, what was the need for protesting? It was something that happened in the United States. How did it bother the Indian celebrities whose lives were not at all affected by this incident?
Well, it’s obvious for a person to comment and protest against the violation of human rights, isn’t it?
In fact, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), article 19 (1) states, “Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.” At the same time, article 21 also states, “The right of peaceful assembly shall be recognized. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those imposed in conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order (order public), the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.” Hence, it’s very much clear that everyone holds the right to raise their voices against the wrong-doings of the government.
But, India holds an irony when it comes to its own country. The whole world is aware of the farmer protests taking place due to the passing of the three farm bills, which are going to make “farmers at the mercy of big corporations”, as said by a 27-year-old farmer, Rashpinder Singh to AlJazeera.
The most surprising fact here is no Indian media or any Indian celebrity tried to talk about the farmers’ protests (except a few), till an international pop singer, an environmentalist and a former porn star made a post about this.
It didn’t take much time for Indian media to call them “propagandists” and make Indian celebrities post about staying “united” when its own government is spreading propaganda and breaking the nation on the basis of religion.
We are a country where ‘anti-government’ is termed as “anti-nation”, Muslims are terrorists, Sikhs are Khalistanis, it has to slip its two positions to 53rd in the Economist Intelligence Unit Democracy Index. They raised their voices to protest, and the Indian government made it a foreign interference issue.
A six worded interrogative statement posted by Rihanna on Twitter with a link to CNN’s article about the internet shutdown due to the ongoing farmers’ protest, triggered the entire government and made Indian media get their headline for the day.
In fact, the toolkit shared by Greta Thunberg, which directs the pattern of protest to make a bigger impact, was called a confidential “leaked” document. And no wonder, a former actress from the adult industry was questioned about her character for raising the voice of the farmers.
Why is foreign celebrity interference bothering the Indian government so much? What about our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi when he said, “Abki Baar Trump Sarkar”(Trump government for next time) in 2019, USA?
Wasn’t that an interference in the 2020 US elections? What about the silent Bollywood celebrities who are ignorant about their own nation’s protest, but rose their voice in the #BlackLivesMatter? That’s where the hypocrisy lies – the hypocrisy of the government, celebrities, and definitely Indian mainstream media houses.