The Indian government's response to the ongoing farmers' protest has now drawn international condemnation, with several high-profile individuals speaking out in support of the farmers. It began with pop singer and businesswoman Rihanna's short tweet on Tuesday night and has now escalated to include several others, including activist Greta Thunberg and vlogger Amanda Cerny.
More than 70 days have passed since thousands of farmers made their way to the national capital protesting against three contentious farm laws. The ongoing protest at Delhi's borders show no signs of stopping, and till date supporters continue to travel towards the national capital.
From thousands of security personnel being deployed along the Delhi border to putting up barbed wire barricades and constructing nail studded roads and cement walls - administrative officials have taken several steps to curb the agitation. But it is the internet shutdown that is currently in force in some of the areas surrounding Delhi that has proved a tipping point for international icons.
"Why aren’t we talking about this?! #FarmersProtest" read a tweet from Rihanna. She attached a CNN article about India cutting off internet access around Delhi as the agitation continued. The simple post had, in a little more than 12 hours, been shared around 200 thousand times.
In the hours that followed, many others have stepped forward to criticise the situation.
Hours later, Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg took to Twitter sharing the same article and stating that "we stand in solidarity with the farmers protest in India".
Fellow climate activist, US-based Jamie Margolin has also spoken out about the situation and called on people to support the farmers.
"It is important that the world stand in solidarity with Indian farmers! Farmers are on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Without farmers, there is no food. Please support the #FarmersProtest!" she tweeted.
US Vice President Kamala Harris' niece Meena also took to Twitter criticising the situation and drawing a parallel with the socio-political situation in the US.
"It’s no coincidence that the world’s oldest democracy was attacked not even a month ago, and as we speak, the most populous democracy is under assault. This is related. We ALL should be outraged by India’s internet shutdowns and paramilitary violence against farmer protesters," she tweeted.
American vlogger Amanda Cerny made use of her considerable social media following, sharing a post on Instagram and calling for human rights to be enforced.
"The world is watching. You don't have to be Indian or Punjabi or South Asian to understand the issue. All you have to do is care about humanity. Always demand freedom of speech, freedom of press, basic human and civil rights-equity and dignity for workers," read the caption.