The revelation of a secret app apparently used by Hindutva affiliates to inflate the popularity of the BJP or to intimidate political opponents reinforces a belief many believe is more than just substance that underpins the politically indomitable Prime Minister Modi.
the wire The news portal reported last week that an unknown app called Tek Fog was used to amplify the influence of the BJP. A barrage of organized trolls can also be unleashed against critics through a secret group.
the wire He is among a group of brave media outlets that have refused to be intimidated by the state’s daily intrusions and intimidation. The portal observed for two years the app’s existence when a former insider turned whistleblower revealed its use “by BJP-affiliated political activists to artificially inflate the party’s popularity, harass its critics and manipulate public perceptions on a large scale across major social media platforms”. The harmony was quite evident in the phrases used and references made, for example, to Modi’s procession, who was stranded last week in Punjab for 15 minutes. The phrase “dangerously close to the Pakistani border” was repeated by the chorus of TV presenters to expand the threat Modi faced after a change in his travel plan put a damper on protesting farmers who had no evidence of his travel.
The opposition wants a Parliamentary Committee on Home Affairs to urgently take over the Tek Fog bid because it is about national security. Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien’s description of the application sounds worrisome. “This app is able to hack encrypted messaging platforms and secure conversations on social media, in order to massively manipulate and exploit narratives on said platforms.” O’Brien said the existence and use of manipulative technologies such as Tek Fog poses a significant risk to national security and citizens’ rights. the wire Its investigation said the app could hijack Twitter hashtags, seize “inactive” WhatsApp accounts, and direct online harassment of journalists critical of the BJP. “Another important function found in app screens is the ability for app clients to delete or reset all existing accounts at any moment. This feature theoretically allows them to destroy all evidence of their past activity.”
The BJP has grabbed Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh not by winning, leave your charisma alone. They have only undermined opposition coalitions to bring down their governments.
Anyone can see how the application’s purported potential aligns with the image-building endeavors of the BJP despite Modi’s regular figures compared to bête noire Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. Nehru won 371 seats out of 494 in 1957, seven more than in 1952. His share of the vote improved from 45 percent to 47.8 percent. His lowest performance was 44.72% in 1962. In 1967, Indira Gandhi won 283 seats with 40.78% of the vote, and in 1971 she won 352 seats with 43.68%. In the post-emergency defeat of 1977, she tallied 154 seats with 34.52 percent of the vote, and returned with 353 seats and 42.69 percent of the vote. Rajiv Gandhi, of course, had the highest tally of 414 seats with 49.1% of the vote. Modi, in 2019, added 6.4 percent from 2014, bringing his total score to 37.4 percent. The number of BJP seats improved from 282 to 303 in its five years.
The BJP fomented communal violence in Uttar Pradesh in 2014, and took advantage of the Pulwama terror attack to reach 303 in 2019. Ms. Gandhi won 49 more seats than Modi’s best in 1971 with 43.68 per cent and 50 in 1980 with 42.69 per cent. cent, effortlessly.
Mrs. Gandhi dealt with tyranny but the people resisted it and backed down. It has made fatal mistakes, such as sending the army to the Golden Temple, but has again refrained from targeting students, intellectuals, academics, opposition parties, bureaucrats, or judges who criticize its policies. Few felt threatened or intimidated by the numbers of any leader, including the toll of Rajiv Gandhi. BJP trolls will manipulate the live narrative to spice up Modi’s show. Then the less vigilant newspapers pick up the narration, and the television channels are well equipped to disguise the packed news.
Read: The ledger in the Modi period
Let me take a look here at the enslaved media’s notion of the national interest. Long before Modi was chosen as a potential prime minister, AB Vajpayee was addressing the press at Hyderabad House in Delhi on February 28, 2002 in the company of visiting Afghan President Karzai. The news of Godhra’s violence was pouring in. The entire Indian media covering the joint press conference “decided” that they would not ask Mr. Vajpayee anything about Gujarat. Mr. Vajpayee will make a statement, which he did, after the visitor has bid farewell. Compare this with the American media covering the White House. Prime Minister Rau ended his meeting with President Clinton. But the questions at their joint press meeting were all about the US invasion of Grenada. No one thought of not “embarrassing” the President of the United States or avoiding “anti-national” questions in a foreign presence. Rao stood frowning, silent. Go back to India, and combine the versatility of the Tek Fog app with a very flexible group of reporters and TV broadcasters.
Let us consider another aspect of controlling public opinion. Many states under Modi’s rule are governed by the BJP, the claim is unchallenged. See again, how many states has the BJP won with the help of Modi’s so-called populist allure? The BJP grabbed Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh not by winning, leaving the charisma alone. They have only undermined opposition coalitions to bring down their governments. Where was the popular attraction here? The same was the case with Meghalaya, Manipur, Goa and Arunachal Pradesh. The BJP did not win there despite its exaggerated popular appeal. It simply made its way to the formation of governments. Modi attempted a similar jiggery-pokery in Maharashtra, trying to install his prime minister in the early hours, but found the opposition coalition there more than a match for him.
One effective way to curb the appeal of the BJP’s myth-making applications is for a united opposition to the party to show its place in a small corner of Parliament, as it once did.
The writer is Dawn’s correspondent in Delhi.
Posted in Dawn, January 11, 2022