There is total confusion about the claims and counterclaims on the use of Pegasus in India, at least.
By Rakesh Raman
As Congress is a dying political outfit, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has no relevance in Indian politics. But he keeps using Twitter erratically to blame prime minister (PM) Narendra Modi on diverse issues.
Today (July 23), Rahul Gandhi accused Modi of treason, saying Modi and his colleague Amit Shah who is the home minister allowed the use of Pegasus spyware to tap his phone. He said that people call it software but it is a weapon that governments use against terrorists and criminals.
In the past few days, media reports have revealed that Pegasus spyware developed by Israel’s NSO Group is being used by authoritarian regimes to secretly collect information about critical journalists, opposition leaders, judges, and others. It is reported that the phones of a slew of Indians – including Rahul Gandhi – were also hacked.
In an impromptu press conference, the Congress leader said that Modi and Shah used this weapon against the Indian people and institutions to attack the Indian democracy, and therefore it is an act of treason.
Flanked by a group of his toadies, Rahul Gandhi demanded the resignation of Amit Shah and a Supreme Court-monitored probe against Modi, claiming that only they can order the purchase and use of Pegasus spyware.
#Pegasus is a weapon that is supposed to be used against terrorists. The PM & HM have used this weapon against the Indian state & against our institutions. The only word for this is treason. This has to be investigated & the HM has to resign: Shri @RahulGandhi #PegasusSnoopgate pic.twitter.com/ujNx9uquz1
— Congress (@INCIndia) July 23, 2021
But there are plenty of holes in Rahul Gandhi’s assertions. He has not yet shown any evidence that his phone was tapped. The Modi government has also not admitted that it has been using Pegasus software. All the claims about the use of Pegasus in India are based on some loose, speculative news stories done by some media outlets.
The Pegasus Project is said to be a collaboration of more than 80 journalists from 17 media organizations in 10 countries coordinated by Forbidden Stories, a Paris-based media non-profit, with the technical support of Amnesty International, which conducted forensic tests on mobile phones to identify traces of the spyware.
But the findings of these third-party private outfits cannot become the basis of investigation against the government of a country. The NSO Group has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
In a statement released on July 21, NSO said, “In light of the recent planned and well-orchestrated media campaign lead by Forbidden Stories and pushed by special interest groups, and due to the complete disregard of the facts, NSO is announcing it will no longer be responding to media inquiries on this matter and it will not play along with the vicious and slanderous campaign.”
Obviously, there is total confusion about the claims and counterclaims on the use of Pegasus in India, at least. If Rahul Gandhi or any other allegedly affected person is feeling offended, they should first go to a police station to file an FIR (first information report).
But Rahul Gandhi – who is a naive politician – cannot demand a Supreme Court-ordered investigation against Modi without substantiating his claims. With this reckless demand, the Congress leader has admitted that the parliament is an ineffective place where this issue cannot be discussed and debated.
Although he is expecting the Supreme Court to intervene, Rahul Gandhi knows about the notoriety of the Supreme Court which does not dare to pronounce any judgment that may displease Modi or his government.
In the past, multiple cases have been either ignored by the Supreme Court arbitrarily or the judgments have gone in favor of the Modi government. These cases include Ayodhya temple case, Rafale corruption case, electronic voting machines (EVM) fraud case, PM-CARES Fund case, Article 370 case on Kashmir, Judge Loya death case, Gujarat riots case, Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) case, electoral bonds case, judicial corruption case, sextortion case of former Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, and a number of other cases which still await justice.
In such a state of affairs, Rahul Gandhi is once again showing his naivety by demanding a Supreme Court investigation. Now, instead of repeatedly blaming Modi and his government, the parasitical Congress party must accept its destiny and allow India to become a one-party dictatorship state under Modi.
By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society.
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