The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has summoned the communications director of Twitter India for failing to file a report on action taken against comedian Kunal Kamra for posting a parody video on the platform, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday.
The Twitter official has been directed to appear before the Commission on Wednesday.
On May 5, the child rights body had asked Twitter to immediately remove the video of a boy singing for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It said that Kamra had used the video to “further his own political agendas”.
During Modi’s visit to Germany in the first week of May, a 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 overlay the song with Mehengayi daayan khaaye jaat hain, a song on price rise from the movie Peepli Live.
The video is no longer available on Kamra’s Twitter handle.
The child’s father had responded to Kamra with a tweet saying: “Keep the poor boy out of your filthy politics and try to work on your poor jokes.”
On May 13, the child rights body summoned the Twitter official noting that the report had not been filed.
National Commission for Protection of Child Rights Chairperson Priyank Kannongo said that Twitter has to follow the law if it wants to operate in India.
“It has been 15 days but Twitter is yet to submit an action taken report with us,” Kannongo told The Indian Express. “They haven’t even informed us if the video has been removed. This is not an isolated case with Twitter, but a repeating occurrence.”
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, Scroll.in 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.