Actor Priyanka Chopra Jonas shared her take on the farmers’ protests on Sunday, endorsing a tweet by singer-actor Diljit Dosanjh and calling for their concerns about the centre’s new agricultural laws to be addressed urgently.
“Our farmers are India’s Food Soldiers. Their fears need to be allayed. Their hopes need to be met. As a thriving democracy, we must ensure that this crises is resolved sooner than later (sic),” she wrote on Twitter, quoting a tweet by Mr Dosanjh in Punjabi showcasing the secular tone of the farmers’ movement.
Priyanka Chopra’s tweet in favour of the farmers amid their stand-off with the government bucked the trend of celebrities rarely taking a stand on social issues in India over fears of retribution from the government or its band of fanatical supporters who form an outsized constituency online.
Our farmers are India’s Food Soldiers. Their fears need to be allayed. Their hopes need to be met. As a thriving democracy, we must ensure that this crises is resolved sooner than later. https://t.co/PDOD0AIeFv
— PRIYANKA (@priyankachopra) December 6, 2020
Over the last week, Twitter has played host to an ugly fight between Mr Dosanjh and actor Kangana Ranaut, an ardent supporter of the ruling BJP who has railed against the farmers and has been called out in her efforts to spread disinformation to discredit the movement.
In her tirade against the farmers’ protest challenging the new agricultural laws that they say will leave them at the mercy of large corporations and override safeguards against being cheated, Ms Ranaut misidentified a demonstrator as one of the organisers of Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh sit-in against the centre’s controversial citizenship law and alleged she had joined the protest for Rs 100.
Mr Dosanjh’s cutting retorts to Ms Ranaut in Punjabi went viral on Twitter, setting off a trend of Punjabi wisecracks on the social networking site.
In their last round of talks on Saturday, the central government failed to break a deadlock with the thousands of farmers protesting on the outskirts of Delhi against the agricultural reforms and are set to meet again on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government says the new laws are meant to overhaul antiquated procurement procedures and give growers more options to sell their produce. However, the ruling BJP has faced sharp criticism for its handling of the protest including a brutal crackdown on farmers last week in Haryana.