Ms Ravi said she was concerned about “all those still in jail whose stories are not marketable” and “the marginalized that are not worthy of your screen time”.
Climate activist Disha Ravi, who was arrested from Bengaluru amid the Greta Thunberg toolkit fiasco, and was later released last month by the court giving the Delhi Police one of its most embarrassing judicial rebukes in recent times, has now released her first statement on Saturday.
Twenty-two-year-old Disha was picked by the police late in the night on February 13 from her Bengaluru home in connection with an online document that canvassed support for the farmers’ protest. However, she was released 10 days later by a Delhi court that shamed the cops for their “scanty and sketchy evidence”.
For the first time after being released, Disha Ravi published her statement on her social-media pages, explaining details of her arrest and custody, saying she felt her autonomy had been violated and she had been pronounced guilty by ratings-hungry news channels.
I'm letting this out into the internet void in order to present a narrative that is my own.
P.S. This is based on my personal experience and does not represent the opinion of any climate movement, group, or organisation. pic.twitter.com/djrieCZcn8
— Disha Ravi (@disharavii) March 13, 2021
“I had coerced myself into believing that the only way I would be able to live through this was by tricking myself into thinking that this wasn’t happening to me – the police did not knock on my door on 13 February 2021; they did not take my phone and laptop, and arrest me,” Ms Ravi said.
The activist also recalled how she was not provided with a lawyer in the first hearing in court and sent to police custody in a move that had outraged legal and civil rights experts.
“As I stood in that courtroom, desperately searching for my lawyers, I came to terms with the fact that I would have to defend myself. I had no idea whether there was legal assistance available… Before I knew it, I was sent to 5 days in police custody,” she said.
“It’s no surprise that in the days that followed, my autonomy was violated; my photographs were splashed all over the news; my actions were pronounced guilty – not in the court of law, but on flat screens by seekers of TRPs [Television Ratings Points]. I sat there, unaware of the many abstractions made of me in order to satiate their idea of me,” she added.
Ms Ravi said that she was “aware of every minute and every hour” inside the jail cell, adding that she “wondered when it became a crime to think the most basic elements of sustenance on this planet”.
Explaining in detail why climate activism and the farmers’ protest against the three federal laws resonated with her, she said: “My grandparents, who are farmers, indirectly birthed my climate activism.”
“Climate Justice isn’t just for the rich and the white. It is a fight alongside those who are displaced; whose rivers have been poisoned; whose lands were stolen; who watch their houses get washed away every other season; and those who fight tirelessly for what are basic human rights. We fight alongside those actively silenced by the masses and portrayed as ‘voiceless’, because it is easier for savarnas to call them voiceless. We take the easy way out and fund saviourism rather than amplify the voices on ground,” she added.
Expressing gratitude to those who supported her during this entire episode, Ms Ravi said she was concerned about “all those still in jail whose stories are not marketable” and “the marginalized that are not worthy of your screen time”.
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