With just two months into the new year, the government of India is facing a lot of criticism because of different incidents. From Munawar Faruqui being arrested to the farmers' protests, various incidents are leading to a number of questions.
Here's how the international media has viewed India in 2021:
Muawar Faruqui's Arrest
Stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui was arrested in Indore on 1 January for allegedly cracking a joke which ‘hurt Hindu sentiments.’ The comedian was denied bail initially and kept in custody for over a month despite the police claiming that there was no video evidence. Here’s what the headlines in global publications said:
The farmers of India have been protesting for 82 days in and around Delhi against the Centre's new farm laws. During the protests, a number of farmers passed away. The government has been trying to curtail the movement by putting up fortresses of security and barricades on the capital’s border.
The Outrage Over Rihanna and Greta Thunberg
Singer-actor Rihanna had taken to Twitter to share a story by news outlet CNN on the internet blockade imposed in some districts of several states around Delhi, in view of the farmers’ protest against the Centre’s new farm laws.
This was followed by posts from various international celebrities like Amanda Cerny, Meena Harris and Greta Thunberg, also speaking up in support of the farmers. The incident triggered massive outrage in India against the celebrities.
The Ministry of External Affairs issued a press release referring to this as an ‘international propaganda against the country.’
Here’s what the international media thought about it:
Attacks on Journalists
In order to clamp down on the coverage and narrative of the farmers' protest, independent journalists covering the issues have been arrested.
The Delhi Police had held Punia from the Singhu Border, claiming that he “misbehaved” with a station house officer (SHO) on duty, The Indian Express reported.
Punia, who is a freelancer with The Caravan, was on an assignment to cover the ongoing farmers’ protest at Singhu. According to the report, as he was moving through barricades and was picked up by a group of policemen forcibly along with another journalist Dharmender Singh.
A video shared online purportedly shows Punia being manhandled by policemen wielding lathis. The police claimed that Punia was detained for trying to dismantle the barricades.
Disha Ravi’s Arrest
After Greta Thunberg had tweeted in support of the farmers, she shared a ‘toolkit’ on Twitter. Generally a toolkit is a document which includes details about a social media campaign for people who wish to support an issue.
This tweet triggered a series of accusations against Thunberg for being a part of a "pro-Khalistani" conspiracy against the country. The cyber-crime cell of Delhi arrested a 21-year-old climate activist from Bengaluru, Disha Ravi, on charges of ‘sharing and spreading’ the toolkit posted by Greta Thunberg.
This is how the international media viewed the issue: