Freedom of expression: BJP has become intolerant over criticism on social media, says Shiv Sena

Shiv Sena has come down heavily against the BJP over its attempts to control the freedom of expressions over social media.

Published: 16th October 2017 04:55 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th October 2017 04:55 PM   |  A+A-

Shiv Sena supporters (File | PTI)

By Express News Service

MUMBAI: Shiv Sena has come down heavily against the BJP over its attempts to control the freedom of expressions over social media.
"When the then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh was being targeted on the social media, the UPA had proposed a legislation to control the expressions on social media. However, the BJP had opposed such a legislation terming it to be against the right of expression and now the government is proposing to bring in the legislation," Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana said in its editorial.
NCP president Sharad Pawar had recently assured the youth who had received notices from the police for their anti-establishment posts over social media that his party would be with them in opposing the government.
The Shiv Sena greeted the feat and congratulated Pawar for openly speaking against the oppression.
"The BJP has become intolerant over criticism on social media which helped it win elections," the editorial observed.
"The BJP's condition today is that it dug a pit for somebody else but itself fell down. The social media, which the BJP used to malign the Opposition, and spread falsehood has now begun to unmask the BJP and in retaliation, the necks of youth who are speaking out are being strangled," the editorial said.
"The BJP is coming up with the deadly legislation that it had opposed. Hence, the youth should think before continuing to express themselves over the social media. They should be prepared to go to jail for expressing freely over the social media," the editorial added.
It said that the BJP used social media as a tool to win polls and used slanderous language against the Opposition and termed them as thugs.
"But the government got activated and intolerant when it was ridiculed by youth when its promises turned out to be false after coming to power. The Prime Minister should openly declare if there is no freedom to air one's views about the government or the BJP," the Sena said.
"Youth who speak against the government are summoned by the cyber cell and are threatened of being imprisoned. Some have even been put behind bars. This is a Talibani style of functioning. This makes Maharashtra a state of exploitation rather than a state with laws," it said.
It said that the BJP government's stand is that the Prime Minister, President and chief ministers should not be insulted and that people should be patient. "However, where did this patience and mannerisms disappear when Manmohan Singh was time and again made fun of as Prime Minister?" it questioned.
Police-constable suspended
Meanwhile, Ramesh Shinde, a police constable who was posted as a bodyguard of former revenue minister and Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat, was suspended allegedly because of his derogatory remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi over WhatsApp.
"Action was taken against Shinde after a detailed inquiry by the cyber cell of the district police," said Ranjankumar Sharma, Superintendent of Police of the Ahmednagar district.
Last month the police had served notices to several youths while conducting an investigation into a complaint filed by a CMO official with the cyber crime cell. CMO official Nidhi Kamdar's fake Facebook profile was made and messages were forwarded from the profile to imply that the CMO is engaged in luring certain elements of the society for its anterior motives. The police had arrested the culprit and summoned youth connected to him that included some of the journalists among others. It was perceived as an attempt to intimidate youth who are critical of the government.


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