In their own different ways, Mia Khalifa, Rihanna, Greta Thunberg and Meena Harris are celebrities, known across the world, although for different reasons. Coincidences do happen, so perhaps it was entirely accidental that Ms Khalifa, Ms Rihanna, Ms Thunberg and Ms Harris decided almost at the same instant to tweet on the same subject in a similar fashion. Great minds think alike, and the four have each indeed acquired a fair amount of admirers who swear by their intellect, not to mention other capabilities. It has even been said that they have been joined by Malala Yusufzai, whose courage in facing up to the horror inflicted on her by religious extremists won worldwide admiration. Over the decades since India became free, more than four hundred thousand farmers are reported to have committed suicide. None of the celebrity names mentioned above seem to have wasted time on a tweet or two about this very sad situation. Farmers in all except a single state and parts of two more states seem content to accept the reforms suggested in the three farm bills passed by the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha during September. They have been ignored by the celebrity ladies who have almost at the same time and using almost the same turn of phrase tweeted their anguish about the plight of the farmers at the borders of the national capital of the Republic of India. Not even one of the tweeters has brought up the fact that the overwhelming number of farmers in India are not opposed to the new laws. Nor mentioned why they do not appear to have been moved in the past by the condition of the farmers of India. Another individual who has shown her concern is Priyanka Vadra, as well as Rahul Gandhi. Both seem not to have noticed, or at the least reacted to, the tens of thousands of farmer suicides that took place during the period when the UPA was ruling the country. Life has indeed been harsh for the farmer, which is why he deserves the right to choose the market he sells his produce to, rather than remain at the mercy of a middleman. Calculations show that neither the farmer nor the consumer benefits as much as the middleman from each transaction. As the latter do not subject their earnings to the scrutiny of tax authorities, the reality of extortionate profits by the middleman at the expense of the farmer and the consumer remains hidden.
While the views of Mia Khalifa on such issues may be a matter of some debate, it was taken as a given that Greta Thunberg would not support any eruption of violence. Photos and videos of tractors ploughing through not fields of wheat and rice but police lines are there in several outlets accessible via the internet. Several hundred police personnel were injured in the melee which followed the entry of tractors to areas that they were not supposed to even get close to. Such was the agreement reached between them and the police, an undertaking that was speedily broken. Meena Harris presumably takes a dim view of the manner in which a mob of white supremacists and plain kooks broke into the US Capitol and launched a hunt for legislators. Why does she believe that the citizen of Delhi does not have the same right as she herself has to an environment free of violence and blockage of highways? Those living in different parts of the National Capital Region are worried that a medical emergency may befall them and they would not be able to go to Delhi to ensure that it is properly dealt with. Lives and livelihoods have been disrupted for several months, but none of this seems to be of concern to either Meena Harris or Rihanna, who admittedly is a wonderful singer, but is clearly not an expert on the intricacies of agriculture in India. Ms Harris has an aunt in Kamala Devi Harris who has broken through a bulletproof glass ceiling and got elected the first woman Vice-President of the US, not to mention the first non-white to hold that job, just as earlier Barack Obama was the first African-American to become President of the US. Before she tweets on a subject, it may be wise to understand it better, so that the Harris name does not get misused by individuals who may not be able to explain some of their funding and motivations to the FBI. There are reports that Rihanna was compensated financially for her tweet, which hopefully are not true. Amazingly, she seems to not only be interested in agriculture in India but knows Hindi quite well, if some tweets ascribed to her are indeed hers. The MEA may have been better advised to ignore the storm in a teacup coincidentally coordinated celebrity tweets brewed up. By responding, those behind the tweetstorm got the impression that they had hit home close enough to get an official reaction to tweets from those who clearly were not understood to be expert in understanding the situation confronting the people of Delhi or indeed, farmers all over India, who have welcomed the laws and are unhappy that they have been put in cold storage for 18 months. What the tweets revealed is that an effort is ongoing to humiliate the Narendra Modi government by forcing the withdrawal of the three laws now, and with more to come in future agitations. Due diligence is often talked about but not always practised, and clearly was not by Mia Khalifa, Rihanna, Greta Thunberg and Meena Harris.