Last week, news of climate activist Greta Thunberg’s Google Doc toolkit on ‘how to protest’ took the internet by storm and received immense backlash from Twitter users. The document spoke of ways to support the farmer’s protests and participate in the process.
In response to this document, PM Modi has alleged that a global conspiracy is taking place and foreign forces are attempting to defame Indian tea.
Modi’s Address In Assam
As Assam approaches its election season, PM Modi has been making the rounds and addressing the people of the state. During his speech at Dhekiajuli, a well-known tea plantation area, the Prime Minister directed his words towards the state’s plantation workers.
His speech elaborated on several schemes and welfare programs such as the ‘Assam Mala Project’, which were to be implemented by the ruling party in the state.
But besides the many welfare schemes declared by the PM, he also raised concerns about the alleged foreign forces that are conspiring to tarnish the image of tea.
It is believed that this conspiracy allegation stemmed from the first version of Greta Thunberg’s toolkit– before it was removed from social media– in which it encouraged the public to disrupt the image of chai and yoga in India.
The report by International NGO Greenpeace is also being portrayed as a cause for concern. In their report, the organization made claims that the Indian tea industry overuses pesticides during the production of tea.
In an attempt to retort against the foreign forces, the PM said, “But I want to tell the conspirators that the country won’t allow you to succeed, however much you try. The tea workers will win this battle. Those who are conspiring to launch an attack on Indian tea are not strong enough to confront the strength of our tea workers.”
Read More: Greta Thunberg’s G-Doc Toolkit On How To Protest Gets Tweeted, Taken Down After It Backfires
He even urged the people of Assam not to dismiss the allegations but to take it up actively and to fight against the conspirators by saying, “Will you accept this attack? Will you accept the people involved in this attack? Will you accept those praising these attackers?”
Public’s Response To The Allegations
Since the speech aired, people on Twitter and other social media platforms have raised questions about the link between the documents and the Prime Minister’s statements. But most importantly, people have questioned whether there is any truth behind his views.
While some consider the documents to be an insult to the regional pride and should not be dismissed so easily, a majority of the people believe that this may be the result of increasing paranoia and absurdity.
The belief is that there is a growing fear of the alleged international propaganda against India by the government, but these claims of ‘tea-defamation’ could be far-fetched.
One such response by Congress leader P. Chidambaram questioned the logic behind the statement by tweeting, ‘How does one ”defame” Indian tea? Will “tea” file a defamation suit against unknown persons?’
Speculations suggest that this may have also been an attempt by the BJP government to rally the crowds because of the upcoming elections. This was because Modi stressed the silence of his opposition parties towards the conspiracy during his speech.
As the debate unfolds on whether this conspiracy is real or not, the government is determined to focus on targeting these foreign forces and hold these ‘conspirators’ accountable.
Sources: India Today, Times of India, The Hindu, Twitter
Image Credits: Google Images
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