On July 19, home minister Amit Shah released a statement on the alleged hacking of phones of journalists, activists and politicians in India using the Israeli spyware Pegasus.
According to the Wire, a member of the global consortium of media organisations which exposed the snooping, the targets or potential targets of Pegasus include Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, former election commissioner Ashok Lavasa, election strategist Prashant Kishor and the Supreme Court staffer who accused the then chief justice Ranjan Gogoi of sexual harassment in 2019. Also on the list of targets are 40 Indian journalists from mainstream publications such as the Indian Express, Hindustan Times, India Today, and Wire. Independent journalists have not been spared either.
Shah’s statement is a study in straw man, its references to “disruptors” and “obstructors”, mixed with allegations of a conspiracy to besmirch the country, a tribute to tinpot accountability. The home minister did not spend a sentence to clarify whether the privacy of Indian citizens was breached or not using the Israeli spyware.
So, we have taken the liberty of marking what’s wrong with the home minister’s statement.