|Full name||Disha Annappa Ravi Indian Express|
|Known For||Being allegedly involved in the controversial toolkit case of February 2021|
|Date of Birth||Year: 1998|
|Age (as of 2020)||22 Years|
|Birthplace||Soladevanahalli, Bengaluru, Karnataka|
|Hometown||Soladevanahalli, Bengaluru, Karnataka|
|College||Mount Carmel College, Bengaluru|
|Educational Qualification||BBA Indian Express|
|Religion||Atheist The Indian EThe Indian Express|
|Controversy||Disha Ravi got embroiled in a controversy in February 2021, after she was arrested by the Delhi Police for editing and sharing a controversial document called toolkit. Subsequently, various rigorous charges including sedition and criminal conspiracy were invoked against her. Indian Express|
|Relationships & More|
|Parents||Father- Ravi Annappa (athletics coach)
Mother- Manjula Nanjaiah (homemaker)
Some Lesser Known Facts About Disha Ravi
- Disha Ravi is a young nature activist and one of the founding members of Fridays For Future India, the Indian extension of the climate conservation campaign launched by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg in 2018. She gained global publicity after the Delhi Police detained her under ‘sedition and criminal conspiracy’ for her alleged role in editing a ‘toolkit’ shared by Thunberg on Twitter and promoting it on social media.
- Born and raised in Karnataka, Disha Ravi was inclined towards activism quite early in her life. During her interaction with an African news platform, Disha disclosed the reason that propelled her to take up activism. She stated,
My motivation to join climate activism came from seeing my grandparents, who are farmers, struggle with the effects of the climate crisis. At the time, I wasn’t aware that what they were experiencing was the climate crisis because climate education is non-existent where I’m from.”
- Disha’s efforts in encouraging environmental justice and making people aware of the grave environmental concerns have been recognised both nationally and globally. In September 2020, British Vogue magazine published an article comprising profiles of four global environmental activists. Disha was one of them. British Vogue On 15 February 2021, The New Indian Express referred to her as “Bengaluru’s Greta” in one of their articles. There have been instances when her work was appreciated by prominent institutions across the globe. Here is an interview of Disha with Citizen Matters, an online news channel.
- Disha adopted a vegan diet as the consumption of meat and dairy produce is propelling global warming.
- Before going to jail in the toolkit case, Disha used to work as a culinary manager at a Bangalore-based food company, GoodMylk, which is involved in making plant-based food products as an alternative to dairy and non-vegetarian food products.
- Along with spreading awareness about climate change, Disha also volunteers for several community activities related to the environment like running cleanliness drives, planting trees, etc.
- On 3 February 2021, the Swedish Environmental activist Greta Thunberg tweeted a document that was reportedly intended towards gathering support for Indian farmers’ protest happening against the three farm laws enacted by the Indian government in September 2020. On the other hand, the Delhi Police claimed the toolkit shared by Greta was part of an international conspiracy against India. The police reported that the toolkit was created by pro-Khalistani outfits ‘Sikhs For Justice’ and ‘Poetic Justice Foundation’ with the help of some activists in India. Subsequently, an FIR against anonymous people was registered by the Delhi Police under IPC sections 124(A) (for sedition), 153(A) (for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language), and 120(B) (for criminal conspiracy).
- On 13 February 2021, a team of Delhi’s Police’s Cyber Cell arrested Disha Ravi from her residence in North Bengaluru to interrogate her in the Toolkit case. Later, her name was added to the FIR previously filed in the case. She was also the first person to get arrested in the toolkit case. According to the FIR, the police said that it was found during social media monitoring that an associate of Disha, Nikita Jacob, had attended a zoom call, also attended by some people of a banned pro-Khalistani organisation, Sikhs For Justice. During an interrogation with the police, Disha admitted to having edited two lines in the controversial toolkit; however, she said that the purpose of the toolkit was to garner global support for farmers’ protest and it was not intended to cause violence of any kind.
- After her arrest, received enormous support from a large number of Indian citizens, and her arrest was also criticised and questioned by people globally. People took to the streets to protest against what they termed ‘illegal arrest on false charges.’
- Reportedly, the Fridays For Future India movement has been under the Delhi Police’s scanner since July 2020 after its members swamped the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change email boxes by sending thousands of emails to its official email account as a protest against a new draft introduced by Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) 2020. Consequently, the Delhi police briefly blocked the website of Fridays For Future India.
- On 23 February 2021, after spending nine days in jail, she was released on bail by a session’s court of Delhi after the police failed to produce any substantial evidence that could convince the judge to extend Disha’s custody. Additional Sessions Judge said the shreds of evidence that the Delhi Police had presented before the court of law were ‘scanty and sketchy’ and did not prove any of the charges levied against Disha Ravi.
Excerpts From The Bail Order
- The creation of a Whatsapp group or editing and sharing a toolkit is not an offence.
In my considered opinion, creation of a WhatsApp group or being editor of an innocuous Toolkit is not an offence. Further, since the link with the said toolkit or PJF has not been found to be objectionable, mere deletion of the WhatsApp chat to destroy the evidence linking her with the toolkit and PJF also becomes meaningless. Further, it is rightly pointed out by Ld Defence Counsel that the protest march was duly permitted by the Delhi Police, therefore there is nothing wrong in co-accused Shantanu reaching Delhi to attend the protest march. Still further, the attempt to conceal her identity seems to be nothing more than an anxious effort to stay away from unnecessary controversies”
- The Toolkit did not call for violence.
The perusal of the said ‘Toolkit’ reveals that any call for any kind of violence is conspicuously absent. In my considered opinion, Citizens are conscience keepers of government in any democratic Nation. They cannot be put behind the bars simply because they choose to disagree with the State policies.:”
- There was no evidence against Ravi of conspiring with secessionist forces.
It would be worthwhile to observe that there is nothing on record to suggest that the applicant accused subscribed to any secessionist idea. Further, the prosecution has, except for pointing out that the applicant/accused forwarded the toolkit to Miss Greta Thunberg, failed to point out as to how the applicant/accused gave a global audience to the secessionist elements”
- Mere engagement with people of dubious credentials is not an offence.
In my considered opinion, it is not mere engagement with persons of dubious credentials which is indictable rather it is the purpose of engagement that applies to decide culpability. Any person with dubious credentials may interact with several persons during his social intercourse. As long as the engagement/interaction remains within the four corners of law, people interacting with such persons, ignorantly, innocently or even fully conscious of their dubious credentials, cannot be painted with the same hue. In the absence of any evidence to the effect that the applicant/accused agreed or shared a common purpose to cause violence on 26.01.2021 with the founders of PJF, it cannot be presumed by resorting to surmises or conjectures that she also supported the secessionist tendencies or the violence caused on 26.01.2021, simply because she shared a platform with people, who have gathered to oppose the legislation. There is not even an iota of evidence brought to my notice connecting the perpetrators of the violence on 26.01.2021 with the said PJF or the applicant/accused”.
- The right to freedom of speech and expression includes the right to seek global opinion.
The right to dissent is firmly enshrined under Article 19 of The Constitution of India. In my considered opinion, the freedom of speech and expression includes the right to seek a global audience. There are no geographical barriers to communication. A Citizen has the fundamental rights to use the best means of imparting and receiving communication, as long as the same is permissible under the four corners of law and as such have access to audience abroad”.
- Descent plays a significant role in democracy.
Citizens are conscience keepers of government in any democratic Nation. They cannot be put behind bars simply because they choose to disagree with the State policies. The offence of sedition cannot be invoked to minister to the wounded vanity of the governments.”
- Diverse views should be taken in good faith.
The difference of opinion, disagreement, divergence, dissent, or for that matter, even disapprobation, are recognised legitimate tools to infuse objectivity instate policies. An aware and assertive citizenry, in contradistinction to an indifferent or docile citizenry, is indisputably a sign of a healthy and vibrant democracy. This 5000 years old civilization of ours has never been averse to ideas from varied quarters. The following couplet in Rig Veda embodies our cultural ethos expressing our respect for divergent opinions”.
- Cannot keep Ravi in jail to allow police to collect more evidence.
Considering the scanty and sketchy evidence available on record, I do not find any palpable reasons to breach the general rule of ‘Bail’ against a 22-year-old young lady, with absolutely blemish-free criminal antecedents and having firm roots in the society, and send her to jail.”