The arrest of 21-year-old activist Disha Ravi by the Delhi Police from her residence in Bengaluru in Karnataka has raised many eyebrows with legal experts alleging abdication of the judicial process in her arrest and the subsequent court order sending her to five days of police custody.
The Delhi Police arrested Ravi for allegedly editing the protest toolkit tweeted by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg on 3 February on India’s farmers’ protests. Lawyer Rebecca John wrote a scathing note on Facebook alleging abdication of the judicial process. She wrote, “Deeply disappointed by the conduct of the Duty Magistrate Patiala House court, who remanded a young woman to five days police custody, without first ensuring that she was being represented by counsel.”
John added, “If the accused was not being represented by counsel at the time of the hearing the magistrate should have waited till her counsel arrived or in the alternate, provided her with legal aid. Magistrates must take their duties of Remand seriously and ensure that the mandate of Article 22 of the constitution is scrupulously followed.”
John asked if the ‘case diaries and the arrest memo were examined by the Delhi court magistrate before sending the young activist to five days of police custody. “Did the magistrate ask the Special cell why she was being produced directly from Bangalore without a transit remand from Bangalore courts? All in all, shocking abdication of judicial duties,” she said.
Lawyer Colin Gonsalves told NDTV that the so-called ‘toolkit’ was only a manual for peaceful protest, and had no content inciting violence. “Tell us from the toolkit, whatever version you have, which line is a criminal offence?” Gonsalves asked.
Here’s the full text of Greta Thunberg’s controversial toolkit. As pointed by Gonsalves, nothing in the text below incites violence or amounts to criminal offence.
Greta’s Farmers’ ToolKit
Farmers Protest In India
Note: This is a document 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.
As per the agriculture census of 2015-16, the majority of land holdings in India — 86 percent — are small and marginal. They are less than two hectares in size, and these households’ incomes are already below what they spend on consumption expenditure.
These historically marginalised farmers, who were first exploited by feudal landlords and colonisers pre-Independence, and by globalising and liberalizing policies since the 1990s, are the backbone of the Indian economy even today. Despite thousands of suicides caused due to indebtedness and lack of structural support, an absence of solutions to deeply-rooted problems has further been exacerbated by the new farm laws that were passed without any consultation with these farmers who provide for a majority of the Indian population’s daily food consumption.
Instead of being supported to become self-reliant and prosperous, a majority of farmers are increasingly being subjected to the control of large corporations and international institutions whose sole focus is profits, and necessarily involves increased exploitation of nature. The same destructive forces that are destroying the planet are the ones taking over the lives of our country’s most populous and important demographic, subjecting them to increasing hegemony and repeating similar patterns of privatization being seen across the globe – from the Philippines to Colombia.
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.
Listed below are a number of resources that provide more insight on URGENT ACTIONS
- Tweet your support to the Indian Farmers. Use hashtag #FarmersProtest #StandWithFarmers
- Call/Email any of your govt representatives and ask them to take action, Sign online Petitions and take action to Divest from fossil fuel industries.
- Organise an on-ground action near the closest Indian Embassy, Media House or your local Govt. office on 13th/14th February, 2021. Share pictures on social media using the hashtag #FarmersProtest #StandWithFarmers
- Share solidarity Photo/Video Message on social media with hashtags #FarmersProtest #StandWithFarmers
- Digital Strike: #AskIndiaWhy Video/Photo Message
- Keep tweeting – Feel free to tag @PMOIndia, @nstomar (Minister of Agriculture & Farmer Welfare), your own heads of state & others who ought to take note, like the IMF, WTO, FAO, World Bank
- Read more about the issue – https://ruralindiaonline.org/en/stories/categories/farming-and-its-crisis/
- Physical Actions – Near Indian Embassies, Govt. offices, Media houses
- Watch out for (or Join) the Farmers’ March / Parade (a first of its kind) into Delhi and back to the borders.
- Call/Email any of your govt representatives and ask them to take action, Sign online Petitions and take action to Divest from fossil fuels.
Get a complete picture through the Farmers’ Protest Doc
How can you help?
- Participate in (or organise an) on-ground protest.
Either find protests happening in your city/state/country and participate in large (or small) numbers or organize one. In addition to the options below, you are encouraged to organise solidarity protests either at/near Indian Embassies, near your local Govt. offices or offices. Do continue to organise gatherings as and when possible.
Resources to help organise:
- #StandWithFarmers Solidarity Video
Record a video (preferably in landscape mode) to share your message of support to protesting farmers. OR Hold a poster/paper/chart/card with a solidarity message anywhere in your city/town/village and take pictures.
- #AskIndiaWhy & Via Campesina Digital Campaigns
- India has a long history of human rights violations, violence, and a cruel indifference for its most vulnerable citizens
- India’s farmers & other citizens need the global community to pay attention — the world needs to know that India is ignoring the voices of the marginalised communities. We need solidarity and support from across the world.
- Digital Strike with the hashtags #StandWithFarmers and #FarmersProtest
- Take part in tweeting support along with the world
Hashtags: #StandwithFarmers #FarmersProtest
Accounts to Tag: @thepmo, @UNDP, @UNFAOand @PMOIndia, @UNDP_India, @nstomar, @timestrolley (if on Twitter). If willing, do tag your Heads of State, the IMF, the WB and/or the WTO.
- Other Actions
- Contact a local Representative
It is paramount to put international pressure on India’s Government. Click the buttons below to find templates, contact information on your local representative(s) to do your civic duty, whichever may be your country.
Call Your Representatives.
Send Emails to your govt. representatives
- Sign Petitions
In less than 1 minute, sign a petition aimed at condemning state violence and demanding the Indian Government to listen to the protestors and not silence and mock their dissent.
- Petition to Abolish the 3 Farm Bills & Support the Protesting Farmers
- Petition to UN – Freedom to express dissent is a key pillar of democracy
- How you can petition the UK MPs to support the farmers in India
More Information – Important Links
Trolley Times (Farmers at the borders’ Newsweekly)
RISE UP AND RESIST!
THANK YOU! <3