International pop star Rihanna on Tuesday extended her support to the farmers protesting on the outskirts of Delhi against the centre's agricultural laws, condemning the internet shutdown aimed at crippling the movement.
"Why aren't we talking about this?! #FarmersProtest," tweeted the 'Don't Stop The Music' singer, who happens to be the fourth most-followed user on Twitter with more than 100 million followers, along with a news article about the internet blockade.
The tweet sent the singer trending on Twitter with thousands of responses including one from actor Kangana Ranaut, an ardent supporter of the ruling BJP who has made no bones about her strong dislike for the farmers' protest that has challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
No one is talking about it because they are not farmers they are terrorists who are trying to divide India, so that China can take over our vulnerable broken nation and make it a Chinese colony much like USA...— Kangana Ranaut (@KanganaTeam) February 2, 2021
Sit down you fool, we are not selling our nation like you dummies. https://t.co/OIAD5Pa61a
Internet services in the Delhi border areas of Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri - epicentres of the farmers' months-long protest against the centre's agriculture laws - were suspended on Saturday and the shutdown has been extended twice to be in force till at least 5 pm Wednesday.
The order by the Home Ministry had come over the weekend, days after sections of a tractor parade in Delhi by farmers on Republic Day strayed from agreed routes, triggering clashes with the police that left dozens injured and one protester dead.
Following the violence last week, the Uttar Pradesh government ordered the removal of protesters from Ghazipur - which lies on the Delhi-UP border. They were ordered to leave by Thursday night.
Authorities have also dug up roads, erected massive, multi-layered barricades at several places to block farmers from reaching the heart of Delhi again.
However, they refused to budge and demonstrations grew after a tearful outburst by farmer leader Rakesh Tikait who claimed he was "ready to face bullets" if needed.
Lakhs of farmers across India have on protest since September demanding the centre repeal laws they say will leave them at the mercy of large corporate firms.
In November, they had to fight pitched battles with the police in BJP-ruled Haryana who tried to stop them from bringing the demonstration to Delhi.
The crackdown has triggered condemnation at home and abroad including from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Rihanna also tweeted about the coup in Myanmar on Tuesday, highlighting a post by Human Rights Watch and writing, "my prayers are with you #myanmar!"