Over 300 alumni of Mount Carmel College in Bengaluru have written a letter of support and condemned the arrest of fellow alumnus Disha Ravi by the Delhi Police. Ms Ravi faces allegations that she was one of several people who prepared a “toolkit” to create disturbances over the protest by farmers. She was arrested by Delhi Police last week and taken to the national capital. The manner of her arrest and the charges have been condemned by the alumni as frivolous.
Ms Ravi is a climate activist and her unverified Twitter account – being handled by a friend since her arrest – describes her as a “youth climate activist” and the founder of Fridays For Future India, a group reportedly associated with Greta Thunberg’s climate advocacy group Fridays For Future.
“We, the alumni of Mount Carmel College, condemn the arrest of our fellow alum Disha Ravi by the Delhi Police. The blatant targeting of a young woman citizen expressing her support with the nation’s protesting farmers is horrifying and completely unacceptable. We demand that the Delhi Police release her and the Bangalore police and Karnataka governments act to protect the constitutional rights of a woman resident of the state of Karnataka,” said the letter of support signed by 330 alumni of Mount Carmel College.
“…As we all know, the terrible impact of climate change cannot be ignored as evidenced by the ongoing disaster at Uttarakhand where hundreds of people are believed to be buried dead. It is these kinds of environmental disasters, enabled by the weakening of the provisions of the Environment Impact Assessment, that Ms Ravi has worked to bring to public attention,” the alumni said in their letter.
“Her sense of history is remarkable as she has drawn not only from her personal, familial history of farmer-grandparents and the difficulties they suffered due to the impact of climate change on agricultural practices. She has also drawn her inspiration to protest and lend her voice to farmers’ protests in the country from the greatest of people’s movements in India – the Independence struggle.
“Through her work, Disha stands as a model to emulate. Her arrest, we believe, is a way to browbeat young, articulate women – which Mount Carmel College has produced for generations – into silent submission. We unconditionally express support to her and her family in this time of distress and are proud of the work she has undertaken in the field of climate change activism,” the alumni said.