Disha Ravi, a 22-year-old climate activist whose imprisonment last month won the Delhi Police one of their most humiliating judicial rebukes in recent memory and prompted a global uproar about India’s suppression of protest, published her first statement on Saturday.
She was arrested by police late at night on February 13 from her Bengaluru home in accordance with an online document soliciting help for the farmers’ protest, and she was released on bail 10 days later by a Delhi court, which scolded the police for their “scanty and sketchy evidence.”
Disha Ravi described her imprisonment and detention in a statement posted to her social media accounts on Saturday evening, saying she thought her independence had been abused and she’d been declared guilty by TRP-hungry media.
I’m putting this out there in the internet vacuum to tell a storey that is solely mine.
“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,” she said.
More Statements By Disha On her Social Media Accounts:
“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,” Disha 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.
Adding Disha was “aware of every minute and every hour” in the jail cell, the activist stated that she “wondered when it became a crime to think the most basic elements of sustenance on this planet”.
“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 saviors rather than amplify the voices on the ground,” Disha said.