Over the last few days, author and activist Meena Harris (who also happens to be US Vice President Kamala Harris' niece) has spoken out repeatedly in support of the ongoing farmers' protest in India. And even as many cheered her on, a legion of counter-protesters arrived. From social media trolls to offline protesters that burnt her protos - Harris has faced it all over the last two days.
But she remains undaunted. As the photos from the counter-protest went viral, Meena Harris had a message of her own. "I won’t be intimidated, and I won’t be silenced," reads a tweet from Friday, pinned to her profile.
"I spoke out in support of human rights for Indian farmers, and look at the response," remarked Harris while sharing a photo from the protest against her.
Now, she is back on the topic, reiterating her support for the farmers' protest and calling for the release of Dalit activist Nodeep Kaur.
"Weird to see a photo of yourself burned by an extremist mob but imagine what they would do if we lived in India. I'll tell you—23 yo labor rights activist Nodeep Kaur was arrested, tortured and sexually assaulted in police custody. She's been detained without bail for over 20 days," Harris alleged on Saturday. She shared the visuals of her image being burnt, and underscored her point with the hashtag "ReleaseNodeepKaur".
According to a report by The Quint that quotes her family, the Dalit labour rights activist had been a member of the Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan. She had joined the protest at Delhi's borders at the beginning of this year. Reportedly, Kaur had been arrested from the Singhu border on January 12, with bail being rejected earlier this week.
Seemingly reacting to the criticism she and other international figures had faced for speaking out about an issue in India, Harris also said that the debate went much beyond one topic or country.
"This isn't just about agricultural policy. It's also about the persecution of a vocal religious minority. It's police violence, militant nationalism, and attacks on labor rights. It's global authoritarianism. Don't tell me to stay out of your affairs. These are all of our issues," she tweeted.
Making note of the news coverage that international supporters of the farmers' movement and the counter-protests have received, Harris also wondered why headlines had lauded the "brave" individuals protesting against her.