India has condemned a recent tweet from pop star Rihanna, saying she was one of several “foreign individuals” who embraced “sensationalism” over recent protests within the country.

Wait, what happened?

OK, so Rihanna tweeted a link to a CNN article about recent farmer protests in India (more on that later).

  • Rihanna said, “why aren’t we talking about this?!”

Soon after, climate activist Greta Thunberg and the US vice president Kamala Harris’ niece Meena Harris tweeted support for the farmers as well.

Why are farmers protesting?

Per BBC News, farmers in India are protesting at Delhi’s borders about the new farm laws. Since November 2020, hundreds of thousands of protesters have gathered to speak out against the changes, according to CNN. In fact, farmers were not consulted about the changes.

  • “The farmers are protesting laws passed in September, which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi says will give farmers more autonomy to set their own prices and sell directly to private businesses, such as supermarket chains,” according to CNN.
  • “But the move has infuriated India’s farmers, who say that the new rules will leave them worse off by making it easier for corporates to exploit agricultural workers,” CNN reports.

In response to recent protests, India blocked mobile internet services outside the capital city, where protesters are gathering, per BBC News. The government said the action was done to  ”maintain public safety.”

What was India’s response to the tweets?

India’s external affairs ministry said Wednesday that its parliament passed “reformist legislation relating to the agricultural sector.”

“The temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments, especially when resorted to by celebrities and others, is neither accurate nor responsible,” it added.