‘Tricked Myself Into Thinking I Wasn’t Booked, Jailed’: Disha Ravi
‘Jailed, pronounced guilty by TRP-seekers, but will keep fighting’: The Quint Reads out Disha Ravi’s statement
Video Editor: Sandeep Suman
"All that is real feels far too unreal. In all the years that someone had asked me where I see myself in 5 years, I would have never answered 'jail' but here I was..."
Arrested and jailed for ‘editing a toolkit’ on farmers’ protest, charged with sedition for ‘collaborating with a pro-Khalistani foundation against India’, defamed by a section of the media and finally out on bail, 22-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi took to Twitter to pour her heart out in a statement she issued on her arrest.
Ravi said she kept asking herself what it felt like to be there at that particular moment in time, but she came back with no answers.
‘Seekers of TRP Pronounced Me Guilty’
Disha Ravi, in her statement, recalled how she stood in that courtroom desperately searching for her lawyers and how she finally came to terms with the fact that she would have to defend herself.
I had no idea whether there was legal assistance available so when the judge asked me if I have anything to say, I decided to speak my mind. Before I knew it, I was sent to 5 days in police custody.Disha Ravi said in a statement on her arrest
‘Is It A Crime To Think of the Planet?’
Detailing her days in jail, Ravi said, “At the end of the five days (19 February 2021), I was shifted to Judicial Custody for 3 days. In Tihar, I was aware of every second of every minute of every hour of every day.”
Disha recalled how locked in her cell at Tihar, she wondered when it became a crime to think that the most basic elements of sustenance on this planet were as much her as theirs, when it became a crime to think of the planet and work for the welfare of the planet.
‘Climate Justice Isn’t Just for the Rich and White, It’s a Fight for the Silenced and Voiceless’
Recounting her ordeal, Ravi narrated how she realised during her time in custody that most people knew little or nothing about climate activism or climate justice. She also spoke about how her climate activism was owed to the fact that she was born in a family of farmers.
My grandparents, who are farmers, indirectly birthed my climate activism. I had to bear witness to how the water crisis affected them, but my work was reduced to tree plantation drives and clean-ups which are important but not the same as struggling for survival.Disha Ravi said in a statement on her arrest
Disha also said, “We fight alongside those actively silenced by the masses and portrayed as ‘voiceless’, because it is easier for savarnas to call them voiceless. We take the easy way out and fund saviourism rather than amplify the voices on ground.”
‘Days in Jail Have Been Very Painful, But I am One of the Privileged...’
Thanking people for the outpouring of love that gave her strength, Disha said, “I am grateful for everyone who stood by me. The few days have been beyond painful, yet I know that I am one of the privileged. I was lucky enough to have excellent pro bono legal assistance but what of all those who do not?”
“Although their physical forms are trapped behind bars because of our collective silence, their ideas continue to live on as will the united resistance of the people. Ideas do not die. And, truth, no matter how long it takes, always reveals itself. Still fighting for climate justice. Will continue to fight”
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