(Brig (retd) GB Reddi)
Is Disha Ravi a Villain or Victim in Toolkit Case? Indian Media are pursuing two narratives – pro-Government media justifying her arrest; and anti-Government media houses condemning her arrest.
Disha Ravi has been picked up by the Delhi police in connection with an FIR for links to a farmers’ protest toolkit put out by the teenage global climate activist Greta Thunberg. A day after Disha Ravi was arrested and sent to five days of police custody the Delhi Police have now issued a non-bailable warrant against activists Nikita Jacob and Shantanu.
The “Toolkit” conspiracy is undeniably global conspiracy. Mo Dhaliwal, a Canadian citizen and the founder of pro-Khalistan Poetic Justice Foundation (PJF), contacted activist Nikita Jacob through his colleague Puneet, another Canadian citizen… A “Zoom” meeting before Republic Day was held between MO Dhaliwal, Nikita and Disha, among others. The motive of the meeting was to create a Twitter storm ahead of Republic Day. They also spoke about the death of a farmer.
Reportedly, Disha Ravi is the editor of the Toolkit Google Document and a key conspirator in the drafting, production and dissemination of the document through a WhatsApp group. She along with others collaborated with the pro-Khalistan PJF to spread disaffection against the Indian State. Ravi was the one who shared the Toolkit Doc with Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg and subsequently asked Thunberg to remove the main document after its incriminating details accidentally got into the public domain.
If the evidence is exhaustive and conclusively proved in the Court, then Disha Ravi is the “Villain” pursuing “Irregular Warfare” as per the “fiat” of foreign adversaries/agencies. Proven otherwise by her lawyers, she becomes a “Victim” of Delhi Police!
As a Veteran who fought 3-wars, Nagaland, Manipur, NEFA/Arunachal, J & K and Punjab, and pursuing national security affairs let me highlight that since 1984 India has been facing the brunt and fury of “Proxy War” now recognized as “Irregular Warfare”. Conventional and Nuclear Warfare are ruled out due to deterrent capabilities of opposing sides with horror prospects of Nuclear Armageddon.
What are the end objectives and means of “Irregular warfare”? The end objective is to erode an adversary’s power, influence, and legitimacy, thereby weaken its morale and will, whilst expanding its influence over the targeted people of the nation. Irregular warfare “favors indirect and asymmetric approaches” by adversaries – China and Pakistan.
The “means” or tools of statecraft that adversaries can use to shift the balance of power in their favor include: information operations (including psychological operations and propaganda), cyber operations, support to state and non state partners, covert action, espionage, and economic coercion
When viewed from the above ubiquitous threat, the present crises escalation – protests 24 x 365 – funded and abetted by adversaries and non state actors constitute a major threat to India’s national security. Let none have doubts on the above score.
Most important, partisan media houses are the worst enemy in being. They are trying to push narratives best suited to political parties interests instead of sticking to the facts – thereby “divide the society and country” contra national security interests in today’s highly surcharged enveloping context and content. It is all in the name of “Freedom of Press” sans responsibility and liberal democracy.
Instead of corporate media outlets “telling the right story in our country”, they are hell bent upon “dividing this country” to make a profit by propagating their own partisan narratives by indulging in slant coverage. All media houses are bloodthirsty for ratings.
Unfortunately, India is woefully unprepared for this type of competition—both at home and abroad. Irregular warfare follows Sun Tzu’s dictum “To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.”
The opposing narrative spread by partisan media houses is outright condemnation and outpouring of rage over Disha’s arrest – Victim of government’s illiberal policy and political vendetta.
Not only opposition parties spearheaded by the Congress Party has slammed arrest of 22 year old girl activist and termed it as “arrest of democracy.” Ironic but true, Imran Khan’s party, the PTI from Pakistan has joined the chorus of Indian opposition parties to condemn Disha’s arrest.
Add to them Meena Harris, lawyer, entrepreneur, author and niece of Kamala Harris, Vice President of USA, has not only voiced her support for the protesting farmers and raised the arrest of the rights activist Nodeep Kaur from a farmers’ protest site around Delhi and her alleged sexual assault in custody in the past, but has now expressed her outrage against Disha’s arrest.
As per latest reports, US President Joe Biden’s lawyers have warned Meena Harris against using her aunt’s identity to promote her business ventures like references of Kamala Harris in her book “Phenomenal Woman.” “Some things cannot be undone… That being said, this behavior needs to change!” a Los Angeles Times report quoted members of the White House legal team as saying.
In sum, human rights activists of western countries have joined the adversaries and non state actors to conduct irregular warfare to divide and demoralize India – a la Neo-Irregular Warfare.
Who is Disha Ravi? Why her arrest has attracted high decibel Indian media narrative? Disha Ravi, 22, a Business Administration graduate from Mount Carmel College in Bengaluru in 2018, and the founding members of the Indian chapter of Fridays For Future (FFF), the climate campaign launched by Greta Thunberg’s Climate Campaign, has been staging a protest at her school every Friday on environment issues in the past.
At the outset, let me point out that either Greta or Disha Ravi or Meena Harris, claiming to the environmental and climate activists have failed dismally to campaign against “Stubble Burning” not only in Punjab and Haryana but also from the other side of the border in Pakistan. Why were they silent?
Most important, why are the muted on the issue of excess fertilizers use and cultivation by flooding in Punjab, Haryana and Western UP that has dramatically reduced soil fertility and escalated “Cancer” incidence among the people.
Since they have kept quiet on the most burning issues of the region, their sudden involvement over farmers protests, particularly aided and abetted by Mo. Dhaliwal, Canadian pro-Khalistan activist, quite apparently raises many doubts about their hidden motives! All for the sake of flow of “Foreign Funds”.
“The activities of FFF India are done in conjunction with FFF International and campaigns collectively decided and voted before implementation,” say FFF India activists. The activities of FFF India include: researching environment issues, organizing climate strikes in public spaces, online campaigns against projects considered detrimental to the environment, outreach work with local communities and schools to create awareness.
“FFF International does not have a single goal. Earlier our goal was to declare a climate emergency. The countries that declared climate emergency did not act on it and that is when we decided we wanted climate justice where the government prioritizes climate action and ecological sustainability above all else. We do not have set demands and we want to make different demands work for different countries,” Disha Ravi said last year.
Current email campaigns of FFF India include a demand for “ethical implementation of the National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC)”, a campaign for protection of the Mollem forest area in Goa by cancelling “clearances for projects passing through the Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park, Goa” and to save an elephant conservation zone in Uttarakhand by cancelling the “proposal for extension of the Jolly Grant runway”.
FFF India currently has around 150 activists with around 20-30 in Bengaluru. With its activity being largely volunteer-oriented, there are only a few activists who are part of all activities and others are volunteers who may be part of a few events.
In an interview last year to US author and Professor Gayle Kimball, Disha A Ravi stated “In India, protests are a part of life since the Indian freedom struggle was rooted in peaceful protests. There are a lot of protests on humanitarian issues and religious issues and protests are very ingrained in Indian society. Social media has helped in recent days.”
According to Disha’s own account to Kimball, the FFF India campaign materialized largely after she came in contact with like two-minded women from Bengaluru who were interested in the climate change campaign on the Internet. She had stated “All our associations were formed through the internet — Instagram and other social media. We connected through mutual friends and that is how we found each other. Most of us are women. I had not seen any of them before. Bangalore was the first but simultaneously Mumbai and Delhi started. We did not want do it in one city alone,” she said in the interview.
And, Disha also supported campaigns of Green Peace in her early college days and many of her friends are people who describe themselves as eco-feminists, campaigners against abuse of women and social activists and many climate issues – Aarey to EIA, Goa to Dehra Dun. Disha was in the forefront to oppose the draft Environment Impact Assessment 2020 plan put out by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in March 2020. The campaign against the EIA 2020 plan led to the blocking of the website of FFF India and two other groups and the threat of a UAPA case in July 2020, which was later modified to an Information Technology Act, 2000 case and later withdrawn.
“What is happening is very sad and unfortunate. We are losing our freedom of expression,” said environmental activist Joseph Hoover from the United Conservation Movement about the arrest of Disha Ravi.
Disha Ravi also works as a culinary experience manager with GoodMylk, a company involved with making plant-based food accessible and affordable to people.
Nikita Jacob and Shantanu – Mumbai residents – against whom non-bailable arrest warrants are pending, are absconding. And, they have filed “Bail Plea” petitions in the Court.
To sum up, as per media reports with access to Delhi Police, Mo Dhaliwal, Canada based Pro-Khalistan activist, plotted criminal conspiracy with Disha Ravi along with Nikita Jacob and Shantanu through “Zoom” conference to stage the riots and violence on 26 January at Red Fort – global conspiracy. All those connected with the FFF International are operating in India under the “diktat or fiat” of foreign funding agencies in the garb of human rights activist and climate issues NGOs, besides known pro-Khalistan organizations.
Disha and her ilk/brood have no real concern for “real environmental/climate or human rights issues”. For example, the “Foam” covers all lakes in Bengaluru year after year. Hardly, any concern for “Water Conservation” in Karnataka and the annual Cauvery water wars with neighboring Tamil Nadu. Similarly, the pollution in Delhi. Of course, least concern for over 400 Delhi Policemen injured by ruthless assault on them by the violent “Farm Protestors”. Did any of them express any anguish on the above count?
Delhi Police has not revealed the last piece of conclusive evidence. Still the case is in investigation process. How many are involved and the depth of the contra national security interests will only be known later! Till then, partisan media houses must stop indulging in cacophony over the issue based on incomplete, fake and fraud mews coverage.