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Half knowledge is a dangerous thing: How Disha Ravi spread misinformation and blatant lies to defame India on a global platform

In an hour-long interview with writer Gayle Kimball, sometime in mid-2020, Ravi blames 'patriarchy' for rapes and paints a picture of doom.

21-year-old Disha Ravi from Bengaluru works in a plant-based food startup Goodmylk and is a graduate in business administration, specialising in finance. A course she picked up ‘despite her dislike for capitalism’. In an hour-long interview with writer Gayle Kimball, sometime in mid-2020, Ravi blames ‘patriarchy’ for rapes and paints a picture of doom. Kimball is a US-based writer and Professor Emerita at California State University.

Ravi, in her conversation claims that social evils such as child marriages, dowry, domestic violence and honour killing are common and socially acceptable despite laws against it. She claims that these evil practices are ingrained. She further claims that when some women escape bad marriages and return home, her own family members kill her as ‘honour killing’. “The mercy killing is done by the own family of the women because they feel like she brought dishonour to the family and it is completely acceptable to kill her for that,” she claims about women who are victims of domestic abuse.

On migrant crisis, Ravi blatantly lies about lack of financial support provided to migrant workers and the poor during the pandemic. Various state government as well as central government provided various forms of assistance to the poor including free ration all the way till November 2020. She even spread lies that migrant workers were put on trucks with dead bodies of those who passed away due to coronavirus and were being sent home.

Speaking on the Modi government, the interviewer questions Ravi why did the Indians select and re-elect him despite ‘Hindu nationalism’ and him having a wife ‘people hardly know about’. To this Ravi claims that the Modi government is a very right wing party and he was able to make people understand about his aims. “He convinced the larger population that Muslims for some reason are, somehow they are doing something wrong and the press is controlled by him. So most of the press is right wing. My parents support him, I don’t. Everyone who does not support him is silenced in the most horrific way and it is not shown in mainstream media. You have to go to alternative press,” she claims.

She claims there is ‘next to no freedom of the press’ In India. She claims that because of this ‘no freedom of the press’, PM Modi has ‘convinced’ everyone that what he is doing is good. She claims India is slipping on human growth. The lady taking the interview interjects and claims that PM Modi’s prime goal seems economic development and does not seem to be caring about consequences.

In her obvious hate towards the Modi government, Ravi claims that during US former President Donald Trump’s visit to India last year, there was a huge human right violation. She insinuates that the Modi government had gathered a paid crowd to pull off the huge rally to welcome Trump to India. She furthers that students of a particular college, predominantly Muslims, were attacked, then. However, the mainstream media had covered Modi welcoming Trump, as Modi had spent too much money on it, says Ravi.

The fact, however, is that the campuses of a few colleges like Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University turned violent after the provocative speeches during the anti-CAA protests. The CAA fast-tracks Indian citizenship for persecuted religious minorities in three neighbouring Islamic countries: Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. It does not affect Indians, irrespective of their religion. Despite that, huge mobs gathered, mostly consisting of Muslims, to protest against CAA. Eventually, these protests turned violent and culminated into riots just when the then US President Donald Trump was visiting India.

Surprisingly, in her interview to the foreign lady, Disha talks about farmers and depleting ground water levels and erratic weather conditions because of which farmers have had to commit suicide. She says how climate change has affected the lives of Indian farmers. Ironically, few months later when the union government passed the new laws which aims to help farmers with better storage facility, crop mix and subsequently help fight climate change while increasing their incomes, she has decided to protest against these very laws!

Speaking on Aadhaar card, the climate activist claims that the government has exploited the marginalised people for their lack of knowledge. She claims that though the cost to acquire a Aadhaar card is minimal, the government has fleeced the poor by charging them way too much than the prescribed cost. This is a blatant lie. Aadhaar can be made only at Aadhaar centres and enrolment as well as mandatory biometric update is absolutely free of charge. You can check the rates here [pdf].

While discussing how the ‘activists’ connect for various protests, she mentions how they rely on emails, Zoom calls, Telegram and apps like Slack to coordinate. She says that the ‘activists’ share “toolkits” on various channels and discuss what is happening in each others countries, and on how they can support each other. She says that there are various teams where they could reach out to ‘activists’ of other countries to get them to talk about these ‘issues’ on their social media channels.

Ravi claims that India does not acknowledge global climate crisis. She claims that one of the demands of climate activists in India is to get the government to ‘acknowledge’ that climate crisis is an issue. However, this, too, is far from reality. India is one of the signatories to the 21st Conference of the Parties 21 (CoP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Paris in 2015 which has the main objective of limiting global warming to below 2 degree, preferably 1.5 degree Celsius.

When the interviewer further asks Disha Ravi as to how optimistic she is about the future of India and its efforts to tackle the climate crisis, she paints an extremely negative picture of India claiming that the amount of environmentally destructive projects, especially the huge deforestation projects during the COVID-19 lockdown, which the Modi government is itself approving, does not give a positive vibe about the country. However, she does not give details on which deforestation programmes approved by Modi government she is talking about.

She furthers that there is an urgent need for a change of the government, but at the same time, there are no existing ruling parties that are also capable of tackling the environmental crisis, says Ravi. She even dismisses Congress being helpful in tackling environment crisis.

The lady taking the interview questions on what Disha Ravi thinks about the “progressive party which got elected in Delhi and then faded out”. The activist helps the interviewer by giving her the name of Aam Aadmi Party. Ravi seconds the interviewer’s opinion. She agrees that the AAP is “definitely progressive”, but the issue is that it is only central to Delhi and not in any other city, so they are not being able to make a political shift in all the cities and states across the country. “There are a few issues with the Aam Aadmi Party, but they are definitely better than the others”, says the activist putting her weight behind AAP.

Comparing India’s political scenario to that of the USA, the interviewer asks Ravi whether situation is similar to that of America “where many liberals do not vote which aids ‘Trump kind of guys’ to get elected”. Ravi claims that there are many people in India also who do not vote, despite being eligible to vote and that is why the Modi government exists. She claims that since PM Narendra Modi has his way with words and is able to capture the audience, that’s why quite a few young people and even some conservatives support him.

Delhi Police has arrested the 21-year old ‘climate activist’ Disha Ravi from Bengaluru in connection with the ‘Greta toolkit’ that exposed global conspiracy to defame India on a global scale.

According to Delhi Police, the so-called activist was the Editor of the Toolkit Google Doc, which was accidentally leaked on Twitter by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. As per reports, Disha created a Whatsapp group and actively collaborated to prepare the ‘Toolkit’ document. The Delhi Police further informed that she worked closely in creating the draft which revealed global conspiracy to defame India.

During the initial investigation, the police found that Disha Ravi also collaborated with Khalistani outfit named Poetic Justice Foundation (PJF). The police informed that the objective was to spread ‘disaffection against the Indian State.’ Reportedly, it was Disha who had originally shared the Toolkit document with the Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.

Update: Kimball has since publication of our report made the video private. We have updated the story with the video.

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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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