Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling for a ban on Chinese social media applications TikTok and Helo, PTI reported on Sunday. The right-wing group claimed that TikTok had become a hub for “anti-national content” that was capable of disrupting the “fabric of our society”.
Swadeshi Jagran Manch Co-Convener Ashwani Mahajan, who wrote the letter, alleged that Helo had spent Rs 7 crore on more than 11,000 morphed political advertisements. “Some of these ads were using morphed pictures of senior Indian political leaders,” he claimed. “Functionaries of the BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] themselves wrote to the EC [Election Commission] during the last General Election raising these concerns.”
Mahajan urged the Ministry of Home Affairs to ban all Chinese social media applications in the country, stating that some sections of the Chinese establishment had “negative intentions with regard to sovereignty and integrity of India”. He also claimed that these applications could be used to get access to private data and “create social turmoil” in the country.
“They under the cover of a social media platform run news, views, and opinion platforms,” Hindustan Times reported, quoting from the letter.
Mahajan said he was concerned that the country did not have any regulations in place to monitor applications available on Google Play Store and App Store. He urged the government to introduce a new law that would require testing and regulation of these applications.