Maharashtra to probe Indian celebrities’ reactions to Rihanna, Greta tweets

The decision was taken by Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on a request by local Congress leaders who suspect Indian sports and film stars responded to international criticism under BJP’s pressure

The decision was taken by Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh following a request by local Congress leaders who suspect the Indian sports and film stars were under BJP’s pressure to respond to its government’s handling of the farmers’ agitation. File photo: PTI

Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has decided to probe Indian celebrities’ tweets against international celebrities’ social media comments on Indian farmers’ protests.

The decision was taken by Deshmukh following a request by local Congress leaders who suspect the Indian sports and film stars were under BJP’s pressure to respond to its government’s handling of the farmers’ agitation.

“It was brought to our notice that there were the same posts by celebrities and at the same time. We will therefore look into the matter,” said Anil Desmukh on Monday (February 8).

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Congress leaders had an online discussion with Deshmukh, who has tested Covid positive and is in quarantine.

Also read: Rihanna’s beauty brand ‘uses’ mica from Indian mines that hire child labour

Congress leader Sachin Sawant said he found the word “amicable” being used by almost all celebrities in their tweets.

“Akshay Kumar and Saina Nehwal tweeted the exact same thing and actor Suniel Shetty tagged a BJP leader. While everyone has a right to express themselves, we want the government to probe whether these people were pressurized by the government to tweet this,” Mr Sawant said.

International celebrities like pop singer Rihanna, porn actor Mia Khalifa, Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg, American lawyer Meena Harris and actor Amanda Cerni had criticized the government’s decision to ban the internet in areas where farmers are camping.

Also read: Rihanna’s tweet and India’s funny chorus

This started a war of words on social media with a huge section of Indians, led by actors Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty and cricketers Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar, ace shuttler Saina Nehwal, blaming “vested interests” and suggested that before “rushing to comment on such matters, we would urge that the facts be ascertained, and a proper understanding of the issues at hand be undertaken”.

On the other hand, a section of US political class and celebrities has launched a tirade against the Indian government for “not listening” to Indian farmers.

Congress leaders in Maharashtra found something fishy as they asked why the Modi government got so disturbed by social media reactions of celebrities living abroad.

“When singer Rihanna and climate activist Greta Thunberg sought to express solidarity with the Indian farmers, why are we getting so much rattled?” Congress’s Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said.

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