Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has once again landed himself in controversy with his favourite topic of curbing free speech. On Monday, Shinde, while speaking at a Youth Congress meeting in his home constituency Solapur accused that the electronic media needs to be crushed since they are running a propaganda campaign against the Congress party.
“In the last four months there have been efforts by the media to provoke us (Congress). We will crush such elements in the electronic media, which are indulging in false propaganda, if it does not stop,” accused Shinde on Monday.
In no time the allegations made by the minister created a stir in the media. With his statements having backfired, the minister took a back flip and said that he never meant to target journalists nor meant to crush the electronic media. Instead it is the social media that needs to be crushed.
“My comments were on Social Media….it was with regards to the issue related to the NE students who were being targeted in Hyderabad and Karnataka,” said Shinde saving himself from the backlash.
Not sure how many would buy the latest justification made by Shinde but his love for regulating social media is not a new one.
Last year following the #OperationBlueVirus revelations, Shinde has endorsed the claims made by the site. He stated that he had feared the same for some time and stated, “I had raised these issues in the recent Intelligence Bureau conference. My worry is being proved right.”
Prior to that in the DGP conference held in the capital, he had lamented that “mischievous” use of the social media is sparking off communal trouble, ethnic clashes and reviving militancy in states like Punjab, and said there was a need to monitor such propaganda over the internet.
Earlier to that while laying the foundation stones of BSF and SSB battalion headquarters at Sitarganj in Uttarakhand, he had stated that the Centre is contemplating measures to stop misuse of social media, which poses a serious threat to internal security.
Like any other medium, social media has its own limitations but blaming it every time seems to the safest bet for our Home Minister.