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Indian climate activist Disha Ravi speaks for first time since her arrest

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Indian climate activist Disha Ravi speaks for first time since her arrest

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Ravi, who is about twenty years old, was detained for charges related to his role in disseminating a set of tools that provided a list of ways in which supporters could help protest Indian farmers for months during new laws that change the way the agricultural industry operates. country.

Since then, Ravi has received bail.

“In all the years that someone had asked me where I see myself in five years, I would never have answered‘ prison, ’but here I was,” he wrote, in a statement posted on Twitter. “Locked up in my cell, I wondered when it became a crime to think that the basic subsistence elements of this planet were as much mine as theirs.”

Ravi’s arrest sparked the outrage of well-known figures, such as author Meena Harris, the niece of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, and many Indian politicians, who accused authorities of trying to intimidate and muzzle a young for having told his mind.

The toolkit, which was unsigned and publicly available on an encrypted shared site, instructed people to call government representatives, share solidarity hashtags on social media, participate in rallies, and sign petitions. It gained visibility after Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg tweeted about her link on February 4, accrediting “people on land in India”.

However, his release seemed to anger the Indian authorities. On the same day of Thunbgerg’s tweet, Delhi police announced that they would investigate the creators of the toolkit and try to accuse them of sedition, provoking or inciting a riot and a criminal conspiracy because it was asking followers to “make a war economic, social, cultural and regional action against India “.

New Delhi police argued the main purpose of the toolkit was to “misinform and disaffect against the legally elected government”. Authorities accused Ravi, whose grandparents are farmers, of aiding the author of the document, which was unsigned and made available to the public in an encrypted shared location.

As Ravi’s case makes its way through India’s legal system, farmers continue to protest the laws, which many believe will cost them their livelihood.

Historically, Indian farmers have sold their goods at an auction at their state’s Agricultural Products Market Committee, where sellers were guaranteed to receive at least the minimum price agreed by the government. There were restrictions on who could buy and the prices of essential commodities were limited.

The new laws dismantled this system, instead of allowing farmers to sell their property to anyone for any price.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an advocate of free market reforms, has argued that the new legislation will allow farmers to sell directly to buyers or other states without an intermediate man.

But many farmers say the changes will allow large companies to lower prices. While farmers could sell crops at higher prices if there is demand, many worry that they may struggle to reach the minimum price in years when there is too much supply.

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