Climate activist Greta Thunberg has come into the limelight in India after she tweeted in support of farmer protest in India. On Thursday, the Delhi Police even filed an FIR against her and the alleged “pro-Khalistan” creators of a “toolkit” that Thunberg and others had shared on Twitter in connection with the farmers’ protest. The complaint said that the toolkit was aimed at waging a “social, cultural and economic war against the Government of India”.
The police maintained that no one has as such been named in the FIR. The case is against unnamed persons on charges of criminal conspiracy, sedition and various other sections of the Indian Penal Code.
A few days back, Thunberg had extended her support to the farmers’ agitation and had shared “a toolkit for those who want to help”.
“Here’s a toolkit if you want to help,” tweeted Thunberg, which takes the user to a document containing details on ways to support the protest.
“The ‘Toolkit’ matter is a serious one. It clearly shows that some foreign elements are conspiring to defame India,” Minister for Information & Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar said.
While the police and government have termed the “toolkit” a part of a conspiracy against India, communication specialists say this is a basic tool of any social justice campaign. “Any movement that requires public awareness uses a toolkit and it gives basic info about a subject. The Centre for Disease Control in USA did use a social media toolkit during the pandemic to raise awareness,” Asmita Ghosh, Communication specialist, said during a panel talk with India Today.
Social media experts explain it as a guide created to raise awareness over an issue, particularly pertaining to social justice.
The “toolkit” that the teen activist shared says that it is meant to “enable anyone unfamiliar with the ongoing farmers protests in India to better understand the situation and make decisions on how to support the farmers based on their own analysis.” It further gives a brief introduction to why the farmers have been agitating since November.
“This is not just about one country and its oppressed peoples, it’s about common people across the world having the opportunity to be self-sufficient, feel secure about providing for their families, and live well. On their own terms, as any democracy true to its name should facilitate,” the toolkit reads.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Police has claimed the initial probe suggests the document’s link with a pro-Khalistan group named ‘Poetic Justice Foundation’.
Senior Delhi Police official said considering the unfolding of events in the past few days, including the violence on January 26, it has revealed: “copycat execution” of the action plan mentioned in the ‘toolkit’.
“This toolkit has a particular section which says digital strike-through hashtags on or before January 26, tweetstorms on January 23 onwards, physical action on January 26 and watch-out or join farmers march into Delhi and back to borders,” Special CP (Crime) Praveer Ranjan of Delhi Police said.
He said if someone goes by how the events unfolded, including the violence on January 26, it reveals a “copycat execution of the action plan mentioned in the “toolkit”.