Indian Pro-Government Activists Burn Photos Of Greta and Rihanna


Activists supportive of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in India burned teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg in effigy on Thursday, while Indian police filed sedition charges against the creators of a protest toolkit Thunberg shared on Twitter.

Indian farmers have been demonstrating since November against a package of agricultural reforms they regard as unfair and damaging to their livelihoods. A huge number of protesters have camped around the Indian capital of New Delhi. The demonstrations have included some violence, vandalism, and fatalities, while the Indian government’s response has been criticized as heavy-handed and transgressive of free speech rights.

The Indian government has denounced foreign advocates and “vested interest groups” who express support for the farm protesters, including celebrities like pop singer Rihanna and climate activist Thunberg. Thunberg’s support included a tweet on Wednesday in which she shared links to a “protest toolkit” that drew the ire of Modi’s government and its supporters.


The cybercrime unit of the Delhi police on Thursday filed charges of “sedition, criminal conspiracy, and promoting hatred” against the creators of the toolkit, which they identified as a Canada-based organization called the Poetic Justice Foundation (PJF). Indian security officials accuse the foundation of being in league with a Sikh separatist group called the Khalistan Movement.

Thunberg was not charged by the Indian police, but the charging documents mention her tweet, which she later deleted and said was a mistake. The Times of India (TOI) described the toolkit, which numerous Indian social media users screencapped before Thunberg could remove it:

The PowerPoint presentation detailed the list of tasks aimed against India. Some of the head[ings] mentioned in the toolkit were “disrupt ‘yoga and chai’ image of India in general,” “unified global disruption in the diaspora on January 26,” and “repeal of farm laws.” … (Read more)

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