Congress leader Rahul Gandhi quoted a poem by Faiz Ahmed Faiz on Twitter: “India won’t be silenced.” Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted in Hindi: “Those who carry guns are now afraid of an unarmed girl, now that unarmed girl is emanating rays of courage. #ReleaseDishaRavi #IndiaBeingSilenced.”
Former environment minister Jairam Ramesh tweeted: “Delhi Police on the rampage. After Disha Ravi, it is now the turn of another young woman, Nikita Jacob. More will no doubt follow… This is tanashahi (dictatorship) in New Delhi called Amit Shah #IndianWontBeSilenced.” Former law minister Kapil Sibal asked: “Is the state so weak that a tweet threatens its security? Is the state so paranoid that a 22-year-old is a national security threat? Is the state so intolerant that it cannot tolerate youth standing with farmers? Is this the change Modiji wanted?” Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal termed Ravi’s arrest “an unprecedented attack on democracy” and asserted “supporting our farmers is not a crime”.
Expressing shock over Ravi’s arrest “on flimsy charges” and urging the BJP government to desist from such “punitive action” and instead listen to the voices of dissent from youngsters, DMK chief MK Stalin said: “Silencing critics of the government through authoritarian means is not the rule of the law.”
The CPM Polit Bureau condemned the “atrocious action” against Ravi and said: “The paranoid Modi government has to forthwith end this persecution of young activists”. Lamenting that extending support to peaceful farmers had become a crime, BSP leader Danish Ali said Ravi’s arrest “will definitely weaken our democracy and send a brutal message to the world that we are not even sparing innocent activists”.