A doctored image showing pop superstar Rihanna purportedly holding up a Pakistan flag has been widely circulated after she expressed solidarity with farmers protesting in India against the agricultural laws.
The original image, however, is over a year old, of Rihanna holding up a Cricket West Indies (CWI) flag at a match in the British town of Chester-le-Street during the 2019 World Cup.
The doctored image was published in a Facebook post on February 3 and has been shared hundreds of times, news agency AFP said in a fact-check report.
On July 1, 2019, the International Cricket Council (ICC) had tweeted the original photo of the pop icon holding the Cricket West Indies flag, when West Indies played Sri Lanka during the cricket World Cup that year.
“Look who’s at #SLvWI to Rally ’round the West Indies! Watch out for @rihanna’s new single, Shut Up And Cover Drive Winking face,” ICC had tweeted, along with the photo.
Look who’s at #SLvWI to Rally ’round the West Indies!
— ICC (@ICC) July 1, 2019
The official Twitter account of Cricket West Indies too had tweeted a photo of Rihanna standing in the stadium. The Barbados-born singer was dressed in white and was wearing sunglasses,
— Windies Cricket (@windiescricket) July 1, 2019
A six-word tweet this week by Rihanna, who has over 100 million followers on Twitter (and counting) sparked a storm, with several US lawmakers and celebrities followed suit.
This is what she tweeted: “Why aren’t we talking about this #FarmersProtest?”
Rihanna also shared an article on the farmers’ protest by American news outlet CNN.
The growing international support for the farmers’ movement prompted the government on Wednesday put out a caustic statement, warning against the “temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments”.
Rihanna came under vicious attack online for voicing her support to the farmers’ movement, with many accusing her and others of vested interests. Actor Kangana Ranaut called her a “fool”, terming the farmer protesters “terrorists” and that they were trying to divide India.
(With inputs from AFP)