The New York Times investigation revealing the purchase of Israeli Spyware by our government has once again shocked the Indian Nation. The report reveals that the US$ 2 billion military deal with Israel included the purchase of Pegasus Spyware. The NYT report claims that the spyware was purchased during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel in 2017.
The Opposition has adopted a very tough policy of attacking the ruling BJP. It has assumed greater importance in view of the forthcoming Assembly elections in UP and four other States. The ruling party finds itself in a very awkward and vulnerable position. It is trying to hide its misconduct behind the fig leaf of the fact that the matter is sub judice as it is under investigation by a committee appointed by the Apex Court. The Opposition has been criticising the government by saying that the chowkidar was entrusted with the task of guarding our homes but it used its authority to peep into our private houses. Then it has committed a crime against the people of India. Rahul Gandhi has termed it as an act of treason for which it must be punished. CPI(M) leader Yechury condemned the misuse of Pegasus for spying on Election Commission and the officers who were conducting sensitive investigations. He declared that it is a grave subversion of democracy which is not acceptable at all.
This misconduct by the Central Government also includes misleading the Parliament and the Supreme Court by denying the use of Pegasus or even having any knowledge about it. In the forthcoming Budget Session this misconduct by the government is likely to be debated threadbare. Our democracy and its central edifice in the shape of Parliament is in peril. Even a BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP, an outspoken critic of the government, Mr. Subramanian Swamy has criticised the government for this misadventure.
It is relevant to know that in August 2021, the Ministry of Defence had categorically said in Parliament that it has not had any transaction with NSO Group Technologies which manufactured and sold Pegasus.
The whole country is waiting to see whether the government accepts its misconduct and apologises to the nation or tries to scuttle the debate in the Parliament. The nation demands an apology as it saw in the case of the three Black Farm Laws. In addition, the government must give a firm assurance that this questionable spyware would not be used to violate the rights of Indian citizens.