Disha Ravi, the 23-year-old climate activist who was arrested in the toolkit case, has released her first public statement on social media after her arrest.
In her statement, she expressed how everything felt so unreal and how she survived it all.
I'm letting this out into the internet void in order to present a narrative that is my own.— Disha 𓆉 (@disharavii) March 13, 2021
P.S. This is based on my personal experience and does not represent the opinion of any climate movement, group, or organisation. pic.twitter.com/djrieCZcn8
Talking about not having a lawyer to her defence during the first court hearing, she said:
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 so when the judge asked me if I have anything to say, I decided to speak my mind. Before I knew it, I was sent to 5 days in police custody.
What followed was an attack on her autonomy.
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.
Recalling her time in Tihar, she said:
I was aware of every second of every minute of every hour of every day. Locked in my cell, I wondered when it became a crime to think the most basic elements of sustenance on this planet were as much mine as theirs. Why were millions paying the ultimate price for the greed of a few hundred?
She believes that most people knew little or nothing about climate activism or climate justice. According to her, it's her grandparents who are farmers, indirectly birthed her climate activism.
Climate Justice is about intersectional equity. It is about being radically inclusive of all groups of people, so that everyone has access to clean air, food and water. 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.
While thanking those who supported her, she also said that she was privileged and lucky enough to get pro bono legal assistance. Not everyone has that privelege.
What of all those still in jail whose stories are not marketable? What of the marginalised that are not worthy of your screen time? What of those who face the world’s brazen indifference? Although their physical forms are trapped behind bars because of our collective silence, their ideas continue to live on as will the united resistance of the people. Ideas do not die. And, truth, no matter how long it takes, always reveals itself.
Disha was arrested by the Delhi Police on 13th February in the ‘toolkit’ conspiracy case linked to the farmers' protests. You can read her entire statement here.