Rihanna, called a 'fool' by Kangana Ranaut, has a long history of activism

Updated on Feb 03, 2021 01:12 PM IST

Singer Rihanna became a trending topic in India on Wednesday, following her remark about the ongoing farmers protests. But this isn't the first time she's shed light on humanitarian issues.

Singer Rihanna poses as she arrives at the Fashion Awards 2019 in London, Britain December 2, 2019. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner (REUTERS)
Singer Rihanna poses as she arrives at the Fashion Awards 2019 in London, Britain December 2, 2019. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner (REUTERS)

Singer Rihanna shot up the Google search charts on Tuesday, after her tweet in support of protesting Indian farmers. While those in allegiance with the protests have hailed her attempt at shining a light on the situation, others, such as actor Kangana Ranaut, dismissed Rihanna's comment.

But Rihanna has a long history of activism and philanthropy. In 2012, she founded the nonprofit organisation Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF), which, according to its website, 'funds groundbreaking education and emergency preparedness and response programs around the world'.

The foundation raised $5 million ( 36 crore) for Covid-19 relief in March 2020. Rihanna further donated over $2 million of her own money, a month later.

Other causes that Rihanna has been associated with include spreading awareness for HIV/AIDS, raising funds for cancer research, and for foreign students seeking college education in the US. "To be able to give the gift of an education is actually an honor, higher education will help provide perspective, opportunities and learning to a group of kids who really deserve it. I am thrilled to be able to do this," she said in a 2016 statement.

Also in 2016, Rihanna, along with over 20 other celebrities such as Beyonce, Chris Rock, Jennifer Hudson, Pink and Queen Latifah, appeared in a PSA against police brutality in the US. The video was titled 23 Ways You Could Be Killed If You Are Black in America.

In February 2017, Rihanna was named Harvard University's Humanitarian of the Year by the Harvard Foundation.

She protested against former US president Donald Trump's executive order to restrict travellers from Muslim-dominated nations, when she posed with a T-shirt emblazoned with 'Immigrant' across it. "Hey @realdonaldtrump," she wrote in the caption of her post.

Reacting to the El Paso and Dayton mass shootings in 2019, she directed a comment at Trump on Instagram: "Your country had 2 terrorist attacks back to back hours apart leaving almost 30 innocent people dead. This, just days after yet another terrorist attack in California, where a terrorist was able to LEGALLY purchase an assault rifle (AK-47) in Vegas, then drive hours to a food festival in Cali leaving 6 more people dead including a young infant baby boy!"

In October 2019, she stated that she declined to perform at the 2020 Super Bowl halftime show in support of Colin Kaepernick following the controversy surrounding his role in the national anthem protests.

Also read: Diljit Dosanjh hypes up Rihanna's support of farmer protests as Kangana Ranaut calls her a 'fool'

And on Tuesday, she shared a news report about the ongoing farmers protests, and asked in a tweet, "Why aren’t we talking about this?!" Shortly afterwards, she shed light on the military coup that transpired in Myanmar this week.

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