It’s increasingly clear that climate change is the grammar of human existence, the framing issue under which all other issues are discussed. Like what Democracy and Freedom were during the times of revolution in Europe and independence struggles in the rest of the world.
Since it’s the grammar, we never know what story will first establish it’s presence in a given nation or geography. In the West, it’s primarily been about the power of fossil fuel companies. That’s not a story we tell in India for oil companies aren’t our favourite corporate villains.
But we are an agrarian nation, and it shouldn’t surprise us if global climate politics enters India on the backs of the ongoing farmer movement. There’s a distinct possibility of that happening with Greta Thunberg’s tweets in support and the subsequent arrest of Disha Ravi.
Of course, the opportunity has arisen because there’s an attempt to reframe the narrative around the farmer’s protests - that its an international liberal conspiracy (hatched by teenagers?) undermining Indian sovereignty, but if we set aside the specific people involved, this is the first time when a major mass movement is embracing the language of climate change.