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UPA trying to SILENCE opinion on Sonia, Rahul: RSS

Last updated on: June 30, 2012 21:36 IST

UPA trying to SILENCE opinion on Sonia, Rahul: RSS

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The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has alleged that the United Progressive Alliance government is trying to gag people's free opinion on the net, especially those regarding Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul, by requesting sites like Google to remove content and by seeking users' data and account details.

"The government of India is seeking to gag the voice of the public, expressed most freely on the net. It has sent 96 requests to Googlealone from June to December 2011 for the removal of content," RSS mouthpiece Organiser said in the editorial of its latest edition.

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Image: Congress president Sonia Gandhi


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UPA trying to SILENCE opinion on Sonia, Rahul: RSS

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It maintained that according to Google, there has been a 49 per cent rise in the number of requests for removing online content in India, the highest in the world.

"It may be recalled that Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal had growled in exaggerated fury over a cartoon regarding the prime minister. The UPA government is being lampooned, criticised and chided by angry citizens," the editorial said, adding that this is the role of the media, but since it has failed to do so, the people have chipped in.

Organiser alleged that as per newspaper reports, the government's investigative agencies are also engaged in finding the physical location and identity of several IP addresses from the United States, which have posted material not "palatable to the Gandhi family", particularly about Sonia Gandhi and son Rahul.

Citing Google, the editorial said most requests for removal are regarding political comments.

"Google received 2,207 requests for user data and 3,427 requests regarding users and accounts between July and December 2011. It complied with 66 per cent of the requests," the editorial said, adding that Pakistan has made only two such requests.

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Image: Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal


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UPA trying to SILENCE opinion on Sonia, Rahul: RSS

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Organiser has further alleged that India is asking other countries -- even the ones with which it has Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty -- to provide more than legal information about netizens who make such comments.

"It wants the postal address, even the billing and payment details, which could fix the person directly," it said.

Indicating that advertisements worth crores could be responsible for the media not being critical enough of the government, it said, "These (advertisements) it uses as a leverage for blocking anti-government news, information and opinion."

The article cited the way "Team Anna was stifled" over the debate on UPA's presidential nominee.

"The net is full of analysis and reports by experts and the intelligent common man who has assessed the qualities of Pranab Mukerjee and the charges of his omissions and commissions. Or for that matter the dead silence on matters relating to Sonia Gandhi," the editorial said.

The RSS mouthpiece alleged that when Gandhi made a request for privacy about her illness, the media "obeyed like a lap dog". It further states that in India, the public and private have merged beyond demarcation with regard to the Gandhis.

Accusing the Congress of being "proactive in press censorship" and "cultivating" journalists, the article said, "To those who oppose them, the Congress has shown its true face, repression and threats. The Google report is just an indicator of the deeper malaise of censorship in India."

Interestingly, Organiser refers to the rejection of its own accreditation to the Press Information Bureau as another case of gagging of the "free and critical voice" by the government.

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Image: Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi


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