Bajan pop superstar Rihanna on Tuesday created a float in India by engaging in months-long farmer protests against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s farm reforms.
Tens of thousands of farmers, young and old, blocked the roads leading to New Delhi for more than two months, sheltering in tractors from the cold.
A rally of tractors by farmers last week in New Delhi turned violent. Police responded by shutting down the internet, digging ditches, driving nails into the roads and overcoming barricades with razor wire to prevent farmers from re-entering the capital.
“Why aren’t we talking about this ?! Rihanna said in a Twitter post, sharing a CNN article about the protests with her 100.9 million followers on the platform, using the hashtag FarmersProtest.
It is not immediately clear what led Rihanna, whose songs did well in India, to suddenly tweet on the subject.
While on Twitter in India, a Mumbai-based actress who supports India’s ruling Nationalist Party lashed out at Rihanna.
“Nobody talks about it because they are not farmers, they are terrorists who are trying to divide India…”, Kangana Ranaut told her 3 million followers on the same platform.
The protests are led by turban-wearing Sikh farmers from the state of Punjab, a wheat and rice producer in northern India. The united community, which is spread across the globe, has also staged protests in Australia, Britain and the United States.
Sikh Coalition, a New York-based rights group, thanked Rihanna for throwing more international spotlight on the subject.
“For more than a week, the Indian government has suspended Internet services around FarmersProtest sites in a clear affront to freedom of expression,” he said on Twitter.