Taking a dig at the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government’s efforts to crack down on social media, Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid on Saturday said the government had to evolve responses keeping in mind social media was a reality. He also denied any “rollback” on the deadline of June 30 for digitalisation of cable TV.
The comment comes at a time when the state’s Criminal Investigation Department has written to social networking site Facebook, asking it to remove some pictures which satirically portray Banerjee. Recently, Ambikesh Mahapatra, a Jadavpur University professor was arrested by the state police for allegedly circulating a cartoon of the chief minister.
“We have to take social media in our stride....Even Americans couldn’t get a restriction imposed on Wikileaks. The HRD (human resource development) ministry, which is handling cyber laws, has not told us that we need to do something more regarding social media. I think the law in India gives us ample power to restrain social media, when it violates the law of land,” Khurshid said.
On the United Progressive Alliance’s allies objecting to the June 30 deadline for changing delivery of cable TV to digital, he said. “There is no question of having a pause button here. Let us keep the deadline and try to meet it. I don’t think rollback, holdback or a pause are issues which would detract us from the policy of dialogues. We are in constant dialogue with our allies and Opposition. We will try to take all stakeholders on board.”
State urban development minister Firhad Hakim had said the deadline was fixed without consulting the states and it would create problems for these. He had termed the move as a “conspiracy” against Kolkata.