Greta Thunberg is no stranger to Twitter trolls or criticism. The Swedish climate change activist rocketed to global fame while still a teenager as she began school climate strikes and delivered public speeches to highlight the issue. And while there are critics galore, that has not stopped her from voicing her opinions. After all, this is the same activist that engaged in a well timed exchange of barbs with former President Donald Trump and came out the winner.
A few weeks ago, activist Greta Thunberg had lent her support for the ongoing farmers' protest in India. Sharing a news article that spoke about India cutting off internet access around Delhi as the agitation continued, she tweeted that "we stand in solidarity with the farmers protest in India".
Soon after this controversy erupted, with a 'protest toolkit' shared by Thunberg becoming the focus of an investigation by Indian authorities even as netizens lambasted the teenager. Even as counter protesters burnt her photos in Delhi, Twitter users trolled her relentlessly over her actions and the toolkit.
While some proved their ingenuity by turning her once iconic phrase "how dare you" into a diatribe against the activist herself, others wanted to give her a Bharat Ratna or dissected her surmised "gaffe".
Now asked by Mehdi Hasan on his MSNBC show of the same name about the reaction her remarks wrought in India, Thunberg says that while she was not affected on a personal level, the backlash helped "put things into perspective".
"I wasn't risking anything. Because I was fortunate enough to live in a part of the world where I can use my voice, and where I have complete freedom of speech...and where I have the right to peaceful protests. It just made me realise how fortunate I am, and how privileged I am to be able to use those rights," she explained.
Thunberg contended that while it did not matter to her, there were people who risked their freedom or even their lives to exercise these "basic fundamental rights".