330 alumni members of the Mount Carmel College have issued a statement of support to Disha Ravi who is an alum of the College. Ms. Ravi was arrested by the Delhi Police on February 14, 2021 and now she is facing charges of sedition against her, reportedly for supporting the ongoing farmers’ movement.
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 government act to protect the constitutional rights of a woman resident of the state of Karnataka. Ms. Ravi is one of the best among us, fulfilling her duties as a citizen of India, and indeed of the world, through her activism in the field of climate change. As co-founder of Fridays for Future in India, she has coordinated with climate activists across the world to get politicians and corporations to act and undertake measures to prevent the world from getting worse.
Her participation as a young woman of colour in climate change activism has been important in bringing attention to the vulnerabilities faced by marginalised communities in countries of Global South. 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. 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.