Who rules India ? Government or Twitter ?
Something strange happened last week as Twitter the social media giant refused to follow govt orders on removing certain twitter handles and posts. As we know during the recent framers protest, many a fake tweet handlers have surfaced, besides active guilt free foreign interest in our internal affairs. To be precise, Twitter has decided to overrule the letter and spirit of a government order that was issued to maintain internal law and order and to check an external security threat. On January 31, the Government invoked the provisions of section 69A of the IT Act to direct Twitter to block 257 handles that were identified by the intelligence agencies to be driven by secessionist Khalistan sympathizers or backed by Pakistan,
There is another angle to this whole episode which should raise the alarm bells in the security corridors of the country. The unapologetic entry of international paid professional lobbyists like Rihana and Threta and others into the farmers protest – reportedly being paid millions of dollars. The question is therefore who is funding them and what all are the implications? One obvious answer is Khalistan and ISI backed separatists who want to destabilise India. But more importantly there is another angle to the whole thing which is equally dangerous. As India has moved up in the ‘Ease of doing business’ index and as Modi government has pushed aggressively the Make in India tag along with bringing foreign companies to manufacture products in India the hostility against India has suddenly gone up.
As factories struggled to reopen with materials in short supply, there was sudden and serious interest in managing global supply chains while senior executives questioned the just-in-time supply chains they use to whisk products around the globe, rather than keeping warehouses stocked — and particularly how much they rely on factories in China, where production moved en masse in previous decades (NYTimes).
As a result of government’s efforts to woo firms moving out of China 24 companies has initiated or planned to set up mobile phone factories in India. Assembly partners of giant players in the electronics segment such as Samsung and Apple have shown interest in moving to India. These companies have pledged investments to the tune of $1.5 billion so as to establish mobile-phone factories (Business standard).
The production linked incentive scheme (PLI) for large scale electronics manufacturing to boost domestic manufacturing was hugely successful and has attracted large investments in mobile phone manufacturing and specified electronic components. The scheme extended an incentive of 4 per cent to 6 per cent on incremental sales (over base year) of goods manufactured in India and covered under target segments, to eligible companies, for a period of five years subsequent to the base year as defined. Later such incentives were also extended to other sectors including pharma, auto, textiles, and food processing under the program. “There’s a strong request from Apple to its clients to move part of the iPhone production out of China,”
It is to be also noted that large MNCs and investors depend a lot on analysts report that track individual countries where in the domestic, political environment plus short and long term stability factors are considered for rating foreign investments in any country. Fortunately India’s rating on such criterion has always been favourable more so as compared to Pakistan.
Thus there is sufficient vested interest to destabilise and spoil the environment of the country from people, and nations who do not want India to gain and develop. More protests will definitely kill the stable and peaceful environment in the country which has been already witnessed during the farmers protests. Thus it should not surprise us when Rihana, Threta and Twitter all get involved in their campaigns against India.
The government has to be strict and bring executive order to stop this menace. Earlier we have said no organisation or protest must be allowed to stop transport and other essential services in national capitol. Democracy and freedom of speech / expression cannot be at the risk of country’s sovereignty and security. Similarly government has to use the powers to curb the social media fake and misinformation campaigns. It has to deal with Twitter and other social media giants very very solemnly and seriously. These internal social media giants have build huge capacity to blackmail any country , India being no exception. Thus there is also a need to have alternate and Desi social media channels. Its only a matter of time if PM modi and Govt start using the local channels others will follow.
The government has to consider all such options and derive a policy befitting country’s interest rather than being pushed by twitter. Clealry Twitter has gone far aead while disobeying and showing dis respect to government orders and wishes. This is not acceptable and should not be for a country like us. No doubt China has built all her systems based on indigenous technology and people rather than relying on foreign expertise. Time for India to take the cue.
TDr. Asheesh Shah