A new book is creating big waves in the literal world. The work penned by U.K born author, Sir-Inder Deol, praises Rihanna’s impact on the Indian Farmers Protest (2020-2021). The international release of the book took place on 11th February 2022 at Punjab University, Patiala, India. Many of the country’s leading scholars attended the event where The Indian Farmers Protest – The Resistance Collection, was hailed as a work of literary genius.
‘The ongoing protests come after a nationwide demonstration Thursday, when an estimated 250 million workers, farmers, and their allies joined in what’s believed to be the largest organized strike in history anywhere in the world.’ Democracy Now (3rd Dec 2020.)
Rihanna’s tweet back in February 2021 ‘why aren’t we talking about this?! #FarmersProtest’ sent the world of Indian social media into calamity. A simple tweet was followed by an unprecedented response from right-wing, pro-government Indian politicians, actors, Modi groupies, and hate groups. As a result, the singer faced horrendous backlash where she was accused of threatening the integrity of India, in what can only accurately be described as irrational and erratic hysteria.
The general secretary of the Punjab Kisan Union India, Kanwaljeet Singh, stated ‘The tweets by celebrities and activists such as Rihanna and Greta Thunberg had a huge effect on highlighting the protest to a global audience. The world took notice. The farmers and laborers of India will never forget this gesture. This has been highlighted in Deol’s new book. Poetry and art capture the emotions of protests, the poems penned by Sir-Inder will go down in the history of this struggle.’ Singh further added ‘We camped out continuously for over one year on the borders of our national capital to pressure the government to repeal three unjust agricultural laws they had implemented. After much hardship and the loss of more than seven hundred protesters’ lives the laws were finally taken back. We achieved success but there is so much more to do. This is just the beginning.’
‘An accurate definition of poetry does not exist, for it cannot easily be defined. Nor is it something that can necessarily be explained, rather it is something to be experienced.’ Sir-Inder Deol poetryglobal.org
Senior protest union leader Dr. Darshan Pal, chairing the ground-breaking event, also commended the role women played during the protest as well the support received from Rihanna, Greta Thunberg, and Lilly Singh through their social media platforms. India, being in large a patriarchal society, took notice, empowering the women protestors of the nation even further. Professor of Eminence Balkar Singh, Director of the World Punjabi Centre, along with Dr. Kehar Singh hailed Deol’s work as historically significant, positively echoing the great poetry of India’s rich poetical, spiritual, and cultural past. Others present further expressed these sentiments of approval and endorsement.
RIHANNA – A QUEEN OF BARBADOS
88 was the start of every …ting
Selling clothes on the streets
Hustling a living in adolescence
Still having the common sense
To realize it would take dollars and cents
Earned through honesty and creating trends
To make a new life and lasting amends
#Why aren’t we talking about this?
The question was simple, but the response was NOT
Was she for real? Could she stop the rot?
A dark-skinned female questioning an Aryan Fascist Regime
Would be Irrational, Anti National, Unacceptable it would seem.
She doesn’t care for oppression and repression of speech
She made her own way, she’s no blood-sucking leech;
Profiteering off others endeavor
No way, not now… NOT never
Far-reaching words within a dominant swag
She is a sovereign Queen… how’s that for a hashtag?
(The Indian Farmers Protest – The Resistance Collection Poem 31)
More often than not, the poetry of protest is a slow burner, the recognition, and impact of which, usually only surface many years later when future generations are reflecting on their past. This is one of the rare occasions I can remember when the response from the intelligentsia, academics, and scholars has been almost immediate. This movement has been immortalized through these verses, and with it the names of global superstar Rihanna and her fellow tweeters too.
The demise of monarchies is near
Parliaments are becoming more impotent by the day
Ushering in the new age
The Corporate Emperors will reign supreme
Ahead of the Global Commonwealth of Avarice.
Our indifference, greed, and apathy
Has enslaved us and surely future generations too
Food, medicine, infrastructure, and communications
Have been traded at a pittance
Short term rewards
The new regime is without faith
Or moral restriction
Profit is their prophet
And the ledger their unholy scripture.
There is no redistribution of wealth
And no rights to resources
Production and distribution are their playthings
Politics, welfare, doctrines, and ideologies
Things to be manipulated and subdued
What the f@*k can we do?
(The Indian Farmers Protest – The Resistance Collection Poem 28)
Author Sir-Inder Deol is a U.K based poet, human rights activist, and a strong advocate of freedom of speech and expression. Supporting the rights of the protestors, Deol was instrumental in instigating the United Nations Initiative requesting independent observers at protestor sites following a host of human rights violations and restrictions on the press. He also published The Deol Foundation’s Indian Farmers Human Rights Report, the first and only report of its kind during this historic struggle. (The Indian Farmers Protest (The Resistance Collection) is available from Amazon, Waterstones, and all good book stores.)