International pop artist Rihanna has been the trending name on Indian Twitter since she posted about the ongoing farmers’ protest. Quoting a CNN article, that talked about internet blockage in several districts on the borders of Delhi following violence after the Republic Day tractor rally, the popstar wrote, “why aren’t we talking about this?! #FarmersProtest".
This tweet by Rihanna immediately created a buzz on social media, with actor Kangana Ranaut calling her a ‘fool’. This isn’t the first time when Rihanna’s tweet on a political issue has generated reactions. Previously, Rihanna had also landed in a controversy for tweeting #FreePalestine, which was swiftly deleted after it started to stir the twitter-verse. She later followed up the tweet with a plea for peace and hope that Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolves soon.
Rihanna, who is one of the most popular pop artists in the world, has had a chequered past. She has often landed in controversies for disrespecting religious sentiments, her music videos filled with sexual innuendoes and sending an incorrect message about domestic abuse.
One of the most recent of such controversies is where Rihanna had to apologise for playing an Islamic song at her Savage X Fenty lingerie show. Media reports claim that the song, titled ‘Doom’ included a Muslim text called Hadith, which is reportedly the ‘most sacred and religious text of Muslims’ and is the ‘written record of action and sayings of the Prophet Mohammad and his closest companions’. She received tremendous backlash on social media for using the song and had to later apologise for the ‘irresponsible’ decision to use it, and called it an ‘honest yet careless mistake.’
Apart from that, another thing that surely has a mistake in it, are the tattoo-ed words of Bhagavad Gita on Rihanna’s hip. Experts have previously pointed out that Rihanna’s Sanskrit tattoo, the first part of which means, ‘forgiveness, honesty, suppression and control’ has been written incorrectly.
Rihanna had also faced flak online for posing in front of Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and doing a sultry photoshoot there. Media reports claim that the mosque management asked her to leave after “it became apparent that some of the photographs she took were not in compliance with the terms of the mosque.”
While Rihanna’s music videos garner attention, there are some which were banned for taking things a little too far. In France, for instance, the pop star’s song ‘We Found Love’ was banned for being a little too raunchy’, while her video S&M was banned in eleven countries for its sexual innuendos.
However, it was the video of Bitch Better Have My Money that divided feminists across the world, and stirred a fierce debate about feminism, violence and race. One of her most popular songs, Love The Way You Lie, was also panned by many critics for lyrics like ‘I Like The Way It Hurts’ as many thought that it was inappropriate on Rihanna’s part (who herself has been a victim of domestic abuse) to glorify abuse in a song.