Disha Ravi, a 21-year-old student and climate activist from Bengaluru was arrested on Sunday for her alleged role in sharing a "toolkit" on social media related to the farmers' protest. A Delhi court later sent her to 5-day police custody.
The police have accused the activist of distributing the toolkit which was later used by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.
On February 5, a google document, called a “toolkit” shared by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg hit headlines. After that, the Delhi Police asked Google and some other social media giants to provide information about email IDs, URLs and certain social media accounts related to the document’s creators.
What is this toolkit?
A toolkit, simply put, is a document created to explain any issue. It also provides information on what one needs to do to address the issue. This might include information about petitions, details about protests and mass movements and so on.
The toolkit that Thunberg shared, tries to “explain the farmers’ protests” in the national capital.
“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,” the toolkit states.
The toolkit then goes on to apparently summarise the situation of farmers in India and talks about the Centre’s recent agriculture legislations.
“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 toolkit states.
It further lists out what actions one can take to support the farmers’ protests and the Delhi Police is currently trying to ascertain who created it.
Disha Ravi’s role
Disha Ravi is an Editor of the Toolkit Google Doc and is accused of being a key conspirator in document's formulation and dissemination. She started a WhatsApp group and collaborated to make the Toolkit doc. She worked closely with them to draft the document.
The police said that in the process of drafting the document, Ravi and other members of the group all collaborated with pro-Khalistani Poetic Justice Foundation to spread disaffection against India.
All you need to know about the Pro-Khalistani Poetic Justice Foundation?
Probing the tweet, the Delhi Police claimed that the toolkit tweeted by Greta was created by PJF, an alleged pro-Khalistan outfit. “PJF is an 11-month-old organisation as it was formed in March 2020,” said MO Dhaliwal, the co-founder of the outfit told The Indian Express. It is a non-profit organisation.
“The main objective is to create awareness and dialogue around human rights and social justice issues that have intersections with the South Asian diaspora,” said Dhaliwal.
The outfit’s website says: “We develop content, workshops and events to provoke, challenge and disrupt systemic inequities and biases. We create safe spaces for exploration, learning and healing to foster societal change. Our goal is to educate, organize and mobilize Canadians to achieve and protect equal rights in all aspects of social, political and economic life. Currently, we are most actively involved in the #FarmersProtest that has activated Indian diaspora worldwide as a rebuke to India’s oppressive policies towards farmers.”
Who is Disha Ravi?
Ravi graduated from the Mount Carmel College and is one of the founders of the ‘Fridays for Future’ (FFF) campaign in India. FFF is a global climate strike movement that started in August 2018, when 15-year-old Greta Thunberg began a school strike for climate. It was for students who skip Friday’s classes to participate in demonstrations to demand action from political leaders to take action to prevent climate change and for the fossil fuel industry to transition to renewable energy.
She is currently working as a culinary experience manager with a company that produces plant-based food.
Why is there uproar over toolkit?
According to the police, the “toolkit” has a particular section that mentions “digital strike-through hashtags on or before January 26, tweetstorms on January 23 onwards, physical action on January 26 and watch-out or join farmers march into Delhi and back to borders”.
Earlier, the Delhi Police had asked Google and some social media giants to provide information about email id, URLs and certain social media accounts related to the creators of the “toolkit” shared by teen climate activist Greta Thunberg and others on Twitter in connection with the farmers’ protest. The Cyber Cell had lodged an FIR against unnamed “pro-Khalistan” creators of the “toolkit” for waging a “social, cultural and economic war against the Government of India”.