Over the last few hours, there has been a deluge of international support for the ongoing farmers protest, led by a post from pop singer Rihanna. The post had been simple by itself, sharing the link of a news article and wondering why nobody was talking about the ongoing agitation or the fact that there was an internet shutdown in several areas surrounding Delhi.
But more than 15 hours later, netizens still cannot stop talking about it. Many other celebrities have since taken up the topic, prompting a barrage of counter criticism and effusive praise. Of these, actor Kangana Ranaut's sharp criticism, almost immediately after Rihanna's post, stands out for rather problematic reasons.
While Kangana's tweets on Wednesday included vitriolic personal jibes at Rihanna and her work, netizens were far more bothered by her claim that the agitators were "terrorists" who were trying to "divide India" to make a Chinese takeover possible.
Needless to say, many felt the need to respond. While some reacted directly to the idea of the farmers being terrorists, making no mention of the actor, others wanted Twitter to ban her account.
"So they are back to peddling the 'farmers are terrorist" narrative? Don't know whether to be offended or amused! I think I'll go with amused," tweeted actor-politician Gul Panag.
"That’s alright because I love the way you lie..." jibed comedian Kunal Kamra quoting the lyrics of a well known song by Rihanna.
But as the news broke and the tweets went viral, many have also criticised news coverage and conversation around the topic, wondering why the focus had been laid on Kangana dubbing Rihanna a "fool".
"The news isn't that Kangana Ranaut called Rihanna a fool but that she called farmers of Punjab, Haryana & Uttar Pradesh as "Terrorists" and India a 'vulnerable broken nation'," tweeted Congress Digital Communication and Social Media National Coordinator, Gaurav Pandhi.