The sun and the sea, the wind and the crops, can all be politically weaponised.
In today’s geopolitics, powerful networks can turn the innocent beauty of our environment against leaders and governments they abhor, even if those are democratically elected ones.
Why else would Greta Thunberg, who became the face of teen climate activism by just indignantly mouthing “how dare you?”, cheerlead India’s most irresponsible and damaging farming practices?
By tweeting in support of protests against the new farm laws, Greta did her own cause the greatest disservice. The new laws will end the water-guzzling paddy cultivation in Punjab. Rich farmers do it in the greed of selling paddy to the government at a high minimum support price (MSP), a politically driven dole.
In the process, these Punjab farmers, most of whom also drive fuel-guzzling SUVs, suck out the water table, and use heavily subsidised electricity. The paddy is often excess production which rots at government storage facilities.
After the crop season, the same farmers burn the crop stubble freely. Delhi has these farmers to thank for black-air winters, and bearing the ignominy of being among the most polluted world cities. One of the farmers’ demands in the recent protests was to revoke any punishment for such reckless polluting, which also affects our children.
Why did Greta decide to throw in her celebrity behind a cause directly at war with what she represents? The police investigation begs some very important questions:
Why were our own homegrown ‘climate activist’ Disha Ravi and her so-called activist friends Nikita Jacob and Shantanu Muluk in touch with her, sending her a toolkit or communication docket which she accidentally posted?
Why were Disha, Nikita and Shantanu in cahoots with Mo Dhaliwal, a Canadian Indian who is an open supporter of the banned terror movement asking for a separate Khalistan?
Why were they planning to target India’s symbols like tea and yoga?
Why was the toolkit talking about physical action outside Indian embassies and offices? Did Ravi, Jacob and Muluk not see that the document, purportedly created by themselves, called for “economic warfare against India and certain Indian companies”?
As Indian citizens, why were they cavorting with Dhaliwal, an avowed Khalistani and leader of the Poetic Justice Foundation whose aim is the dismemberment of the Indian state?
Khalistan was a violent movement behind waves of terror attacks in the ’80s, including the assassination of then India PM Indira Gandhi. Indian agencies have repeatedly flagged how Pakistan’s ISI is trying to re-organise the movement from foreign soil, most prominently Canada, the US and the UK.
The violence that happened on India’s Republic Day on January 26 could not have been spontaneous. It takes immense planning and resources to push hundreds of armed lumpens posed as farmers into Delhi.
All the while, Ravi, Jacob and Muluk were allegedly creating and editing the toolkit, and then trying to cover their tracks.
Which leads us to the final question: Who is the head mechanic of the toolkit and how long will he, she or they remain in the shadows?
Views expressed are personal