While the world is commemorating World Press Freedom day, Twitter, perhaps the only social media platform where Indians enjoyed the freedom of expression, in recent times, has started to curb the voices of those who belong to marginalised groups. In the recent incident, Maskoor Ahmad Usmani, a former Students Union President from Aligarh Muslim University has been blocked on Twitter. He has been blocked over his tweet in support of Safoora Zargar, a Jamia Research scholar and activist, recently booked under UAPA, arrested and sent to Tihar jail.
Maskoor Usmani wrote in his tweet, “They don’t arrest pregnant women even in war zones. But Delhi Police has arrested @SafooraZargar, a Jamia student who is pregnant under false charge and a draconian UAPA.”
He alleges that Twitter is scanning all the Muslim activists and suspending their accounts in bulk numbers without any prior notice to the individuals. “This is a well-defined plot that the BJP IT Cell is taking helping hand from the Twitter to suspend these accounts,” Usmani says.
“There is a new pattern of massacring dissenters and the voices that have questions for the government and its policies. This is when, it becomes very lethal for the majoritarian govt and their ideology, as those faces are from the Muslim majority and they fear because the Muslims will rise for the cause of reason and dusted with hatred ideologies, they fear the creation of it down the line. The same case is seen from the technological world, social applications, such as twitter,” he added.
He said that he too was not given prior notice and has been suspended on a mere tweet in support of a pregnant woman who has been facing false charges.
“Safoora is pregnant and the law with its arbitrary power has sent her behind bars, her child shall remember, one fine day, the philosophy of the Preamble died many times in the pages of history, when justice and equality were called. What shall we respond then? A time, for a prompt pondering,” said Maskoor.
In recent times, many Muslim and Dalit activists have been accusing Twitter of promoting hatred against the marginalised.
Maskoor said, “It’s in the very remorse feelings that in the time of great pandemic and life-saving moments, the Indian government is proving to be a great assault on the selective Indian Muslim students and activists. They are being slapped with the baneful charges of great disparaging laws like the UAPA against their individuality. If democracy is not exercised with the values of Dissenting, what one calls it at the end of the system?”.