21-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi has been “picked up” from Bengaluru in Karnataka for questioning in Greta Thunberg “toolkit” case on Sunday. She was picked up from her house in Soladevanahalli area of Bengaluru in connection with the ‘toolkit’ shared by Greta Thunberg, with regards to the farmer protests that have been going on in New Delhi since August 2020.
A student of Mount Carmel, Disha Ravi is one of the founders of the “Friday for Future” campaign — a global climate strike movement that started in August 2018 when Greta Thunberg began a school strike for climate. According to the officials from the special cell, Disha Ravi apparently revealed she edited the toolkit associated with the farmers and then disseminated it.
“We have found that she made several changes in the toolkit related to farmers protest and further spread it in certain groups on social media,” said a senior police official in an interview with The Hindu.
On 4th February 2021, the Delhi Police had registered a case against the “pro-Khalistan” creators of a “toolkit”, which was shared by teen climate activist Greta Thunberg and others on Twitter in connection with the farmers’ protest. The police had alleged that this “toolkit” aimed to wage a “social, cultural and economic war against the Government of India”. Following this, many right-wing trolls on social media accused Greta Thunberg and many other celebrities who spoke against police impunity of “interfering in India’s internal matters” and of accepting bribes from Khalistani groups.
The Delhi Police lodged a First Information Report against its creators of the toolkit, pro-government social media were quick to claim that the “toolkit” was evidence of a global conspiracy to attack India. The FIR included sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting hatred amongst various communities on social/cultural/religious grounds) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
A toolkit, according to a social media campaigner, “is a booklet or document created to explain a cause or issue” that helps identify “approaches to address the issue from the grassroots level”.
The “toolkit” tweeted by Thunberg, explained that it was “meant to enable anyone unfamiliar with the ongoing farmers protests in India to better understand the situation and make decisions on how to support the farmers based on their own analysis”.
Greta Thunberg had shared the toolkit while extending her support to the farmers’ protest in India after the chaos and widespread violence on Republic Day during the farmers’ tractor rally. However, Greta deleted the tweet later but by then, it had managed to draw massive international support.
Youth based Environmental Collectives condemned Ravi’s arrest based on “false” and “clearly fabricated” charges. In a press release, the collective said that it was “actively supporting” the farmers’ protest as agriculture and environment are “deeply interlinked issues”. It said that “toolkits” are used by them as their members are “scattered far and wide and often work independently”.
“To imply that toolkits are some conspiracy gizmos used by foreign forces to destabilise India is as stupid as the ‘cow was abducted by aliens’ rubbish that was aired by the same mainstream media channels that are now airing this nonsense,” the release said. “This controversy is baseless and has no merit.”
The Delhi Police has been on a rampant spree in arresting youth activists, leaders and anybody who they consider a threat to the reality they are helping the Central Government build. A dark stain on the fabric of democracy, India must free all its political prisoners immediately.