The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights on Thursday asked Twitter to take action against comedian Kunal Kamra for posting a parody video of a boy singing for Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the social media platform.

In a letter to Twitter, the child rights body asked the social media platform to immediately remove of the video, saying that the comedian had used the video to “further his own political agendas”.

The video is no longer available on Kamra’s Twitter handle. However, it is not clear if he deleted the video or whether Twitter took it down.

During Modi’s visit to Germany earlier this week, the boy had sung a patriotic song titled Hey Janmabhoomi Bharat when he met the prime minister at an event. In his tweet, Kamra had posted a video that had been edited to replace the song with Mehengayi daayan khaaye jaat hain, a song on price rise from the movie Peepli Live, reported PTI.

The child’s father responded to Kamra with a tweet that said: “Keep the poor boy out of your filthy politics & try to work on your poor jokes.”

On Thursday, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights Chairperson Priyank Kannongo had replied to the tweet saying: “Noted!”

In the letter sent to Twitter, the Commission said that using minors to propagate political ideologies was in violation of the Juveniles Justice Act, 2015, and the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

“Further, the commission is apprehensive that using children for such promotional purposes is harmful and detrimental to their mental well-being,” it added.

The Commission also sought an action report from Twitter within seven days.

NCPCR under the former BJP youth wing leader

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights is an independent statutory body that was created in 2007 to ensure that India’s child protection laws are implemented effectively. It is specifically tasked with looking into the rights of children.

Its chairperson, Kanoongo, is a former member of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s youth wing. He quit the Hindutva outfit in 2015 to be appointed as a member of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights. In 2018, he was made the chairperson of the body.

In February, has reported how under Kanoongo, the child protection body has been transformed from an organisation “that advocates for the rights of children to one that selectively uses it to pursue Hindutva causes and target religious minorities, as well as independent groups seen to oppose the supremacist ideology”.

The Commission has repeatedly taken up cases on the basis of complaints made by Hindutva groups, and reports in propaganda websites.

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How Hindutva hijacked India’s child protection body

Comedian Kamra has been a staunch critic of the prime minister and policies of the central government. He has often been targeted by Hindutva groups for his political positions.

In December, his shows scheduled to be held in Bengaluru had to be cancelled after threats were made to shut down the venue.

Since November 2020, Kamra has also been facing contempt charges for his tweets criticising the Supreme Court for the manner in which it had fast-tracked Republic TV chief Arnab Goswami’s bail plea in an abetment to suicide case.

He had drawn a contrast with the trial and the plight of thousands of undertrials languishing in jails across the country, who find it difficult to get a hearing.