Govt order suppresses digital, social media and OTT platforms: Dr Shama Mohamed, Congress

Mohamed was speaking to Kailashnath Adhikari, MD Governance Now, during Visionary Talk series

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Mar 4, 2021 7:07 PM

Congress spokesperson Dr Shama Mohamed has said that the government’s recent notification to regulate digital news platform is an attempt to suppress all social media platforms including digital news platforms.

While speaking to Kailashnath Adhikari, MD Governance Now, at a live chat during Visionary Talk series held by the public policy and governance analysis platform, Mohamed said that as the digital news platforms are the only ones who are able to say what they want to say, the government is now attempting to suppress them. The government has recently notified Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 to regulate and censor social media intermediaries, including online news media.  

Mohamed said that rules have to be same for everyone. “A lot of fake news is coming from BJP and it shows the party approves of these things,” she said.

While answering a question on dissent within the Congress, she said unlike the BJP, where people are frightened sitting with their leader, there is internal democracy in her party. Without naming the prime minister she said he is the supreme leader right now and does what he wants.

“We have to listen to the people, understand farmers' issues. These farmers helped us during the green revolution. Many of the jawans are sons of kisans. We have to understand people’s issues. There is no governance and empathy is completely lacking.”

Mohamed said she does no see minimum government and maximum governance. There is unemployment, price rise, and no support system for the poor. “Governance is when people have money, they are happy, have a house, roads.”

She said farmers bills were passed in parliament without debate and discussion and when they raised objections they were told to go to the Supreme Court (SC). “Is the Supreme Court government of the day? It’s a legislation. It is a bill passed by the government of the day and needs to be discussed and debated in parliament. Why should everything go to the Supreme Court. Anything we ask this government, they say go file a case in the Supreme Court. When we asked for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) over Rafale combat aircraft, they said go to SC.”

Mohammad said when Congress was in power and when allegations were thrown at them, the party was ready for JPCs, including the case of Augusta Westland. "The Congress party was very transparent, and whenever there was an allegation against a Congress minister, the party would ask the minister to step down to enable a transparent probe. The Congress enacted the biggest weapon of transparency, Lokpal. As the chief minister of Gujarat, Modi had opposed Lokpal and even went to the Supreme Court to prevent its ascent."

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