What's the problem if foreign celebs support farmers: Rakesh Tikait
For all the global uproar the farmers' movement against the new farm laws has caused, the man at its center seems oblivious of the celebrity support the protest has received. Rakesh Tikait, the 51-year-old Bharatiya Kisan Union leader from Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, welcomed the support from international artists and activists, including Rihanna and Greta Thunberg, but acknowledged he does not know them.
They are not giving or taking anything from us: Tikait
Talking to the media at Ghazipur on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border, Tikait asked, "Who are these foreign artists?" When informed about Rihanna, Mia Khalifa, and Greta Thunberg, Tikait responded, "They may have supported us, but I don't know them." "If some foreigner is supporting the movement, then what is the problem. They are not giving or taking anything away from us," he added.
Government had hit back at international interference
The farmers' protest at Ghazipur, Tikri, and Singhu at Delhi borders have now attained global spotlight with prominent international celebrities and rights activists talking about the stir. In its pushback, the government said the facts on the issue must be ascertained before rushing to comment on it, and asserted that the temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and views is neither accurate nor responsible.
Tikait on 15 MPs who weren't allowed to meet protesters
Meanwhile, commenting on a futile attempt by 15 Members of Parliament to reach Ghazipur and meet protesters earlier on Thursday, Tikait said the MPs should have sat on the ground on the other side of the barricading where they were stopped by the Delhi Police. Tikait said he did not talk to the MPs. They were also not allowed to speak to the protesters.
MPs belonged to ten opposition parties
The 15 MPs were from 10 opposition parties, including the SAD, DMK, NCP, Trinamool Congress, National Conference, RSP, and IUML. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who coordinated the visit, said the leaders were not allowed to cross the barricades and reach the protest site to meet farmers.