Shiv Sena mocks Centre’s move of banning Chinese apps, calls it ‘digital revenge’
The Sena in a scathing editorial in the party’s Marathi mouthpiece, Saamana, questioned the timing of the ban and asked the reason for the Centre’s delay if the intelligence agencies knew the apps posed a threat to national security.Updated: Jul 02, 2020 17:42 IST
The Shiv Sena mocked at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance government (NDA) on Thursday, a few days after the Centre banned 59 Chinese applications (apps), citing threat to national security, and called the move a “digital revenge” for the violent hand-to-hand combat between Indian and Chinese troops along the disputed Line of Actual Control (LAC) on June 15.
The clash that had occurred in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley along the LAC had left 20 Indian soldiers dead. The Sena in a scathing editorial in the party’s Marathi mouthpiece, Saamana, questioned the timing of the ban and asked the reason for the Centre’s delay if the intelligence agencies knew the apps posed a threat to national security.
It also contrasted the decision to ban Chinese apps with the surgical strike at Balakot in Pakistan after terror attacks in Uri and Pulwama in September 2016 and February 2019, respectively. On Monday, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had banned 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok and SHAREit.
The Centre stated that it has received many complaints from various sources, including several reports about the misuse of these apps for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorised manner to servers, which are based out of India.
The ban is being projected as a bid to protect the sovereignty of Indian cyberspace and to ensure the interests of crores of Indian mobile phone users and also a major blow to China’s Digital Silk Route ambitions.The editorial said that banning apps would not impact the Chinese economy, as the Asian powerhouse’s businesses and investments in India are huge.
It cited the permission given to Chinese telecom giant Huawei to start fifth-generation (5G) trials in India, which is akin to handing over the “keys of India’s future economy” to Beijing. It also reminded the government to persist with its “digital awakening” programme.The Centre, according to the editorial, claimed that users’ data was used by the Chinese intelligence agencies and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
“If there was a threat to national security, then why were these apps allowed to function and their businesses thrive for all these years?” it asked.The editorial said there has been no change in the ground realities, despite the ban on these applications.“The Chinese troops are still in Galwan Valley and are refusing to withdraw from there.”
In a sarcastic remark, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party alleged that apps such as TikTok encouraged vulgarity and took a dig at some “TikTok stars”, who have recently joined the BJP.The Sena asked rival BJP to answer about the future of these “Tik Tok” stars-turned-saffron party leaders amid the ban on the Chinese app.