To avert Pak propaganda, Govt takes firm actions on ‘Abhinandan video’ on net

To avert Pak propaganda, Govt takes firm actions on ‘Abhinandan video’ on net

Agency News

New Delhi, Mar 1 : Smarting under 1999 pressure tactics generated after IC 814 hijack, the government has decided to deal firmly with the public perception and propaganda war vis-a-vis the powerful social network and internet campaign.

Accordingly, the YouTube run by Google was asked to remove around a dozen video links pertaining to Wing Commander Abhinandan. The government officials in various ministries including Home and IT have since February 27 said that the country is no mood to allow 'the morale and mood' of the nation to be decided by one or two videos. The refrain has been that - what is at stake is national interests and national security and in no circumstances, Pakistan should be allowed to use one video or two to change the mood of the nation that India can be held hostage by such strategies.

Pakistani had played up the same game using Indian population and a section of media in 1999 after the IC814 was hijacked. "I appeal to social media players that while this government is in favour of freedom of speech and expression, it is also important that their platforms should not be allowed to be misused," IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters here on Thursday evening. The IT Ministry's decision came close on the heels of directives from the Union Home Ministry.

"The Indian democracy celebrates freedom of expression and ideas but in the light of the current situation, we expect social media to ensure that their platforms are not abused and country's morale is weakened," Mr Prasad has said. Sources later said the videos were removed following the government directive.

It was also announced that internet giant Google, which operates Youtube, has a policy to remove such material whenever valid requests and directives come from the government authorities. Videos of the captured IAF pilot ostensibly released by Pakistani propaganda machinery went viral on February 27 and sought to 'redefine' the entire paradigm of India's war against terror.

Sources said some videos released on social network under 'Hashtags like #BringbackAbhinandan, #SayNoToWar' were more of a 'campaign' seen as intended to weaken India's determined fight against terror.
There were also attempts by a section of foreign media to suggest that captured pilot Abhinandan is at the centre stage of India-Pakistan dispute and the conflict on Jammu and Kashmir.

The real issue as propounded by India is that essentially February 26 strike was targeted with the limited scope of hitting at the terror hubs operated from Pakistan. The government sources remained firm and it has been made clear that "India is firm" about not falling into Pakistani trap of 1999 when the national mood in India was changed after the hijack of IC814. (UNI)