Indian Government’s Effort to Silence Me Will Fail
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Three days after receiving a notice from Twitter, saying it had received a request from the Government of India to remove 6 of my tweets, spanning a period of 2 years, I received another email from the social media company saying it had moved to withhold my account in India, meaning none of my tweets posted in the past or the future will be seen in the Asian country.
Email received June 22:
Email received June 19:
The tweets in question all raised questions about the Indian Government’s persecution of Muslims:
Call it a coincidence, or call it something else, but funny how the Indian Government successfully had my Twitter account banned just hours after the latest episode of the CJ Werleman Show dropped on YouTube.
In silencing my account in India, Twitter has made itself complicit in the Indian Government’s persecution of Muslims, given my account, along with my print journalism and YouTube channel, has been devoted to exposing anti-Muslim hate crimes in India for the past near-decade.
One only has to look at how members of the Indian Government and its proxy media outlets are celebrating my ban.
Here’s Kanchan Gupta, a senior advisor within India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, slandering me a “hate monger” and “demented psycho.”
Here’s OpIndia slandering me as a “fake news peddler” and “(Islamic) terror apologist.”
In labeling me an “(Islamic) terror apologist” because I report anti-Muslim hate crimes in India, they’re revealing the true motive behind their effort to have me banned from Twitter in the country.
The Indian Government has been trying to silence me for years, even filing “terrorism” charges against me under a draconian colonial-era law for reporting violent attacks against Muslims in Tripura in November of last year here: https://youtu.be/jVbz8J46f5M
The internationally renowned Reporters Without Borders (RSF) slammed the BJP-ruled state, saying our “only crime was to cover the recent attacks against mosques in the Northeastern state of Tripura,” adding, “Journalism is not a crime.”
But in siding with the Indian Government, it’s evidently clear Twitter does not share this view, believing that journalism, when it’s reporting the misdeeds committed by BJP and its supporters against Muslims, can, and often, does constitute a “crime.”
And the Indian Government isn’t only coming after me. It has sent the same message to renowned Indian journalist Mohammed Zubair that it sent to me 3 days before it moved to withhold my account in India.
But the Indian Government won’t win this fight! It’s telegraphing its weakness and fears, not strength and unconcern. It has spent the better part of the past 3 weeks watching the world unite against its hostility towards Muslims and Islam.
No doubt, the Indian Government has been stung into fearful action by the US Government’s unprecedented move to condemn it for commititng human rights violations against the religious minority.
Under Narendra Modi, India has fallen to 150th place in freedom of the press rankings. Silencing Western journalists on Twitter only adds to the growing perception that Indian democracy is devolving into an electoral autocracy, a perception that hurts India economically, diplomatically, and culturally.
The fight against fascist India will burn even brighter. It’s effort to silence me, and others, is doomed to fail.
I will appeal the Twitter ban, but even if that effort fails, I still have my @CJWerlemanShow account, my weekly column with UK newspaper The Byline Times, and my YouTube channel, which has now surpassed 26,000 subscribers in its first 12 months.
We’re only just getting started!
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