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India Targets Climate Activists With the Help of Big Tech
by Naomi Klein
Posted April 26, 2021

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, right, huggingTech giants like Google and Facebook appear to be aiding and abetting a vicious government campaign against Indian climate activists. The bank of cameras that camped outside Delhi’s sprawling Tihar jail was the sort of media frenzy you would expect to await a prime minister caught in an embezzlement scandal, or perhaps a Bollywood star caught in the wrong bed. Instead, the cameras were waiting for Disha Ravi, a nature-loving 22-year-old vegan climate activist who against all odds has found herself ensnared in an Orwellian legal saga that includes accusations of sedition, incitement, and involvement in an international conspiracy whose elements include (but are not limited to): Indian farmers in revolt, the global pop star Rihanna, supposed plots against yoga and chai, Sikh separatism, and Greta Thunberg.

If you think that sounds far-fetched, well, so did the judge who released Ravi after nine days in jail under police interrogation.

Referred to in the Indian press variously as the “toolkit case,” the “Greta toolkit,” and the “toolkit conspiracy,” the police’s ongoing investigation of Ravi, along with fellow activists Nikita Jacob and Shantanu Muluk, centers on the contents of a social media guide that Thunberg tweeted to her nearly 5 million followers in early February. When Ravi was arrested, the Delhi police declared that she “is an Editor of the Toolkit Google Doc & key conspirator in document’s formulation & dissemination. She started WhatsApp Group & collaborated to make the Toolkit doc. She worked closely with them to draft the Doc.”

The kit was nothing more than a Google Doc put together by an ad hoc collection of activists in India and the diaspora designed to generate support for the movement of farmers that has been staging enormous and relentless protests for months. More…