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TBA Opinion: One Tweet managed exposed India’s fragile Democracy

For someone as popular as Rihanna, the international pop star, the Indian Government chose to release a statement responding to her tweet in support of farmers' protest. Two days ago, Rihanna tweeted a link with: “Why aren’t we talking about this #FarmersProtest!”. This one tweet from her sent the Indian government into a tizzy. 
 
What followed seemed unnecessary from the Indian government and celebrities. First, the government of India released a statement that “Farmers’ Protests are an internal matter of India and damage the sovereignty of the country when outsiders respond to it.” 
 
Second, Indian cricketers, celebrities and stars responded with a common tweet stating: “India’s sovereignty cannot be compromised. External forces can be spectators but not participants. Indians know India and should decide for India. Let's remain united as a nation.#IndiaTogether #IndiaAgainstPropaganda”.
 
While the Opposition people against the government are those which are voicing their protest against Internet blockage, Human Rights violations and other excesses on farmers, the government with the help of celebrities is stirring the narrative as something which is affecting India’s unity and sovereignty. 
 
What also seemed a bit baffling is a government that doesn’t respond to farmers’ demands on repealing farm laws has responded to a not-so-important tweet and unnecessarily gave much more publicity to the “Farmers Protest” internationally too. 
 
It did not stop there. BJP IT cell and those tweeting in support of the Modi government went a step ahead and began shaming Rihanna for the physical and mental abuse she underwent in her personal life, stating “she deserved it.” What was worse is there were even memes across social media which had Rihanna’s bruised face which said “she was punished rightly for being that way.” 
 
This constant usage of a woman’s abuse and trauma against her and stating “she deserved to be punished” not only exposes a misogynistic view of many who are supporting the Modi government but also are emotionally immature to an extent where they believe women ought to undergo domestic violence for “not obeying or obliging to their orders or voicing out them protest.” 
 
This incident clearly exposes the kind of patriarchal structures India is deeply entrenched in and also points to a rise in online misogyny and “women-shaming” across social media platforms in India today. It also shows the world how we are a fragile Democracy that has a government which divides its people and doesn’t accept that we need to repair our country internally first, before pointing fingers at others! 
 
Instead of all the ruckus that the India government is creating, wouldn't it be easy for the BJP government to have a meeting with farmers' union leaders and talk it out? Isn't the solution of sitting for talks easier than making the Farmers' Protest look like a threat to Democracy? 
 
Alas, welcome to the Broken Republic that is India today! 
 

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