Out of Twitter, Hegde seeks desi micro-blogging site

Spurned by Twitter, BJP MP Anantkumar Hegde seeks desi micro-blogging site

Anantkumar Hegde. Credit: DH File Photo

Having his account suspended by Twitter, BJP MP Anantkumar Hegde has written to the PMO alleging 'digital colonisation' and 'wrongful interference in free speech' by the micro-blogging site.

The former Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, in a 'confidential letter', urged the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to try and develop an Indian version of the micro-blogging site to ensure 'data sovereignty' and to investigate ‘Anti-India, Anti-BJP, Anti-Modi, (and) Anti-establishment tweets’.

His handle @AnantkumarH was locked by Twitter, according to the screenshot shared by the MP in his letter to the Modi. Twitter, in a message, had asked the MP to ‘remove tweets that violate our rules’ to unlock his account.

The Uttara Kannada MP is no stranger to controversy, having tweeted sympathising with Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse and for his repeated vitriolic tweets and remarks against minority communities. He had deleted the Godse tweet, claiming that his account was hacked in May last year. His disparaging comment against Gandhi in February last year had forced the BJP high command to issue a show cause notice against him.

In the letter, Hegde alleged selective targeting of nationalist and pro-India handles and paid promotion of 'handles spewing poison and passing objectionable comments' about the PM, Home Minister and CMs of India, among others.

Noting that Modi had advocated the concept of self-sufficiency recently, "We as a nation should try and develop (a)-la-twitter Indian version thru NIC, CDAC, CDOT or Indian start-up sector on a war footing and commercialisation of the same must happen through Government of India or Indian private entity. Digital colonisation can be only challenged with data sovereignty. Freedom of speech and expression can be only guaranteed by Data sovereignty and transparency," the letter read.