Pop-star Rihanna in 2016 released her hit single, 'Work' where she sung, 'you gotta do the work, work, work, work, work, work.' Almost five years later, Indians are taking that advice to heart.
On Tuesday, Rihanna tweeted a news article about the internet blockade in Delhi that followed after clashes between the protesting farmers and the police."Why aren't we talking about this?! #FarmersProtest," tweeted the 'Don't Stop The Music' singer, who happens to be the fourth most-followed user on Twitter with more than 100 million followers.
Within minutes of that single tweet, a huge spike in Google trends was seen, as people Google-d to find who she really was.
Rihanna's tweet saw a divided Twitter: Some were of the opinion that her tweet will highlight the ongoing farmers protest in the country to the international media-- more so with Rihanna tweeting about it to her 100 million-strong social media family. Others called it 'paid'. Many others strongly reacted to it, suggesting that the pop star shouldn't be talking about things she doesn't know about.
Meanwhile, while Indians shared their opinion on what they thought of Rihanna's tweet, many rushed to Google to search about her. Amid the usual searches, the one that stood out is - 'Is Rihanna Muslim?' and 'Rihanna religion.'
Rihanna, who was raised in a religious household in Barbados, has been surrounded by the Christian faith since she was little. Rihanna has in fact, spoken at length about her religion and her faith to Interview Magazine in 2019, mentioning how it started when she was younger.
"My first time praying and fasting was when I was 7 years old. I did that on my own, because I wanted to go to New York, and I knew that this was a sacrifice I had to make in order for god to make sure I could get there," she told the magazine.
Other search trends on Rihanna involved her music, where she was from.
Rihanna's tweet about farmers has been a long-standing issue in India. Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, have been camping at several Delhi border points, demanding a complete repeal of the three farm laws and legal guarantee of minimum support price for their crops. Enacted in September last year, the three laws have been projected by the Centre as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove middlemen and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.
However, the protesting farmers have expressed their apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of the MSP and do away with the "mandi" (wholesale market) system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.