Published: 15th February 2021
Govt is focused on terrorising brave young people for speaking the truth: Activists, academics slam Disha Ravi's arrest
The 21-year-old climate activist was picked up by the Delhi Police on the afternoon of February 13 from Bengaluru, for allegedly editing a 'toolkit' for farmers' protest, shared by Greta Thunberg
When Disha Ravi, a 21-year-old climate change activist was arrested by the Delhi Police, Kavita Krishnan, AIPWA Secretary was one of the few prominent figures who raised their voice against it. Kavita has never met Disha, however, she says that it was important for her to raise her voice and express solidarity with the young activist, a student of Mount Carmel College, Bengaluru.
The statement that Kavita has endorsed is signed by many prominent academics and activists across the country, including singer T M Krishna, Green Tamil Nadu Party leader Dr S P Udayakumaran and writer and activist Nityanand Jayaraman. Disha was picked up by the Delhi Police on the afternoon of February 13 from Bengaluru, for allegedly editing a 'toolkit' for the farmers' protest, shared by Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg.
"Young environmental activists, that the country should be proud of, are the latest victims of the Centre’s continuing efforts to delegitimise the ongoing farmers' protest and the nationwide solidarity it has generated," the statement reads. "India should count itself fortunate that conscientious young Indians are actively engaged with shaping their futures in the face of ecological catastrophes. Aware that the government policies are hurting millions and harming the environment, these youngsters are exercising their constitutional rights and performing their fundamental duties by systematically holding the government accountable," it says. The signatories, who have also started a change.org petition demand the immediate release of Disha and ask the Delhi Police to let her resume her normal life.
READ ALSO: What the FAQ: Who is Disha Ravi? Why did Delhi Police pick up this Bengaluru's Climate Change activist for interrogation?
"The government is arresting so many who are protesting for a cause and charging them with sedition. That is the definition of autocracy or dictatorship. This is not a democracy," says Krishnan, who says that mobilising international opinion for a cause isn't a new thing to do, pointing out the Black Lives Matter protests in the US. "The BLM protestors in the US got Indian celebrities to tweet. This did not cause the BLM protestors to be arrested. This approach in our country is to see every protest as a conspiracy. That is very problematic," she adds, saying that an activist's arrest has become no longer surprising.