Congress alleges new rules aimed at stifling, terrorising social media; asks government to shed 'Big Daddy approach'

By Express News Service
NEW DELHI:  The Congress on Wednesday said the new intermediary rules for social media issued by the government are “dire, drastic and draconian” in nature and aimed at creating a “social media police”. “The issuance of new guidelines shows that the BJP government is suffering from the ‘Big Daddy’ syndrome. The rules are a severe blow to the vibrant culture of discourse, deliberation and dissent in India,” the party said. 

Terming it the Modi government’s “North Korean approach” to free speech, senior party leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said what is being brought into force from Wednesday is yet another attempt by the Centre to capture and subordinate every pillar and agency of freedom of thought and expression.

“Having successfully done so in respect of constitutional and statutory bodies like CBI, ED, EC and several others, along with subjugation of the ‘Godi Media’, Modi Ji has now turned his attention to social media to annihilate all vestiges of free speech, thought and expression. Dictatorial regimes, including the North Korean one, would blush at the brazenness with which the Modi government has done so. The Moid-led NDA government’s pathshala should be the new go-to place for all dictators to hone their skills in controlling free speech and thought,” he said.

He, however, said the Congress has not taken a policy decision yet on whether to move court against the new rules. Singhvi added that in the new Orwellian definition of the Modi government, all voices against the PM or the HM, criticism of Covid-19 management and any questioning of the ruling party attract registration of sedition case.  

Patra fails to appear before cops againBJP spokesperson Sambit Patra on Wednesday yet again skipped his appearance before the Chhattisgarh Police in the ‘toolkit’ case. The police had summoned him with the second notice asking him to appear on May 26 for questioning in the case