India slams Rihanna for her tweet supporting farmers’ protests


Former porn star Mia Khalifa has joined the chorus of celebrities voicing support for the Indian farmers protesting against agricultural reforms.

The adult actress, who is one of Pornhub’s most popular stars, spoke out on Instagram and Twitter on Wednesday after India cut off the internet for the protesters.

She joins Rihanna, Greta Thunberg and Kamala Harris’s niece in drawing attention to the massive demonstrations led by farmers who fear that new reforms will favour big businesses to the detriment of smaller producers.

Former porn star Mia Khalifa has joined the chorus of celebrities voicing support for the Indian farmers protesting against agricultural reforms

Former porn star Mia Khalifa has joined the chorus of celebrities voicing support for the Indian farmers protesting against agricultural reforms

India slammed a tweet by international pop star Rihanna (file photo) as 'irresponsible' after she voiced support to the protesting farmers

India slammed a tweet by international pop star Rihanna (file photo) as ‘irresponsible’ after she voiced support to the protesting farmers 

Khalifa wrote on an Instagram Story: ‘India has cut internet around New Delhi amidst a farmers protest, what the f*** is going on?’

She then said on Twitter, taking aim at people who have doubted the legimitacy of the protests: ‘”Paid actors,” huh? Quite the casting director, I hope they’re not overlooked during awards season. I stand with the farmers. #FarmersProtest.’

Earlier, pop star Rihanna told her followers: ‘Why aren’t we talking about this?! #FarmersProtest.’

Her tweet was slammed as ‘irresponsible’ by Indian authorities who accused ‘foreign individuals’ and celebrities of ‘sensationalism’. 

The adult actress, who is one of Pornhub's most popular stars, spoke out on Instagram and Twitter on Wednesday

She said she 'stands with the farmers'

The adult actress, who is one of Pornhub’s most popular stars, spoke out on Instagram and Twitter on Wednesday

The farmers in India have been protesting for nearly three months, demanding the withdrawal of new laws that they say will favour large corporate farms and devastate the earnings of smaller scale farmers. The picture shows a demonstration in New Delhi on Wednesday

The farmers in India have been protesting for nearly three months, demanding the withdrawal of new laws that they say will favour large corporate farms and devastate the earnings of smaller scale farmers. The picture shows a demonstration in New Delhi on Wednesday

The farmers in India have been protesting for nearly three months, demanding the withdrawal of new laws that they say will favour large corporate farms and devastate the earnings of smaller scale farmers.

The contentious legislation has exacerbated existing resentment from farmers, who have long been seen as the heart and soul of India but often complain of being ignored by the government.

Tens of thousands of farmers are camping to protest against the new laws on the outskirts of the capital city Delhi where India suspended some of the local mobile internet services, citing ‘public safety’.

The protest drew global attention last week when a tractor rally by farmers ended in violent clashes during which one protester died and hundreds were injured.

In a Tuesday tweet, the US pop star urged her 101million followers to pay attention to the ongoing protests.  

Her comment was retweeted more than 230,000 times and liked by over half a million users. 

Rihanna’s tweet, which sent her name to the top of social media trends in India, sparked huge support around the world.

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg and US vice president’s niece Meena Harris both tweeted within hours in solidarity with the striking farmers.  

Greta Thunberg, one of the world’s most prominent environmental campaigners, tweeted a story about the internet blackout, saying: ‘We stand in solidarity with the #FarmersProtest in India.’ 

‘We ALL should be outraged by India’s internet shutdowns and paramilitary violence against farmer protesters,’ wrote Harris, whose mother was born in India.

British MP Claudia Webbe also expressed her support for the farmers. In a retweet, she said: ‘Thank you Rihanna. In an era where political leadership is lacking, we are grateful for others stepping forward.’ 

The international celebrity tweets triggered an online storm in India, where the farmers’ protests have become one of the biggest challenges to Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi since he took power in 2014. 

But the singer’s viral tweet faced a backlash from the Indian authorities who blasted it as ‘irresponsible’.

India’s external affairs ministry said in a Wednesday statement that the Indian parliament had passed ‘reformist legislation relating to the agricultural sector’ following a full debate and discussion.

‘The temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments, especially when resorted to by celebrities and others, is neither accurate nor responsible,’ it added.

The international celebrity tweets triggered an online storm in India, where the farmers' protests have become one of the biggest challenges to Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi since he took power in 2014

The international celebrity tweets triggered an online storm in India, where the farmers’ protests have become one of the biggest challenges to Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi since he took power in 2014

There were also others who criticised Rihanna for wading into the protests against the laws which have been backed by the government and its supporters. 

Members of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and its supporters regularly brand their critics traitors, propagandists and ‘anti-nationals’.

Some Indians tweeted in support of Rihanna, but others were not pleased, with her remarks getting abusive replies.

Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut, a supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, replied to Rihanna’s post by calling the protesters ‘terrorists who are trying to divide India’.

‘No one is talking about it because they are not farmers, they are terrorists who are trying to divide India,’ she wrote.

Modi has said the laws are necessary to modernise India’s agriculture sector, but farmers fear they would be placed at the mercy of big corporations.

Twitter temporarily blocked scores of accounts tweeting about the protests on Monday at the demand of the Indian government, while police have detained dozens of farmers and a journalist.

India – the world’s biggest democracy – regularly uses internet shutdowns to limit information sharing during disturbances.





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