No passport if you are caught being ‘anti-Indian’ on social media

The government tends to regulate the kind of content we post on social media and is often clamping down on posts that it deems offensive and it against national interests.

Now, it seems things are about to get more complicated as reports suggest that people applying for passports and arms license won’t get either if they are found putting up ‘anti-national’ posts on their social media accounts.

This information comes to light after Twitter blocked various accounts of Indian celebrities amidst the ongoing farmer protests. The Indian Government has also asked the micro-blogging site to remove such accounts and posts that incited ‘farmer genocide’.

The decision to keep a close eye on people and see if they are being anti-national comes from the Uttarakhand police. Let’s see what it is all about.

You put anti-national posts, you won’t get a passport!

Uttarakhand’s State Director General of Police, Ashok Kumar suggested that if a person is in the habit of exhibiting anti-national sentiments on social media, his or her social media accounts will be scanned and taken into consideration.

If found guilty of being anti-Indian, the police will keep this in mind while verifying the person for a passport or an arms license and won’t grant him or her one.

It is also suggested that earlier if a person was found putting up such posts on social media platforms, he or she was simply warned and advised not to do so. But now, things seem to get a little too serious as people will be refrained from going overseas if they have anti-national feelings.

As per a report by Hindustan Times, Kumar, in a conference held at the police headquarters in Dehradun, said, “From now onwards, the police will scrutinize the accused’s social media behavior to check if he is habitually putting such anti-national posts. If it is found so, then the police would mention it in his/her police verification and may not clear in his application for passport or arms license.”

This tough step is being taken to curb the spread of anti-national posts on social media, which is currently seeing a high. It comes along with various other measures, which were discussed at the conference to improve policing in the state.

This comes in as a shock as it clearly hinders the users’ freedom of speech and expression, which is a basic right as a citizen of India. Since social media is a place for us to be free and expressive, it appears downright wrong, especially when ‘what we post on social media’ becomes a decision-maker in important situations.

What are your thoughts on the same? Comment below.

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