ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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L'affaire Snowden in India

In a commendable editorial, quite properly entitled “Big Brother Is Watching” (22 June 2013), the EPW has put on the spot the Orwellian surveillance programme of the United States (US) government as a massive attack on the right to privacy of the American citizens, “bravely leaked by Edward Snowden”. It has also rightly denounced the Government of India for its acquiescence in this scheme. Similarly, The Hindu has, in a forthright editorial (3 July 2013), denounced the illegality of the US action of surveillance of the foreign governments, adding that the US government considers international law as applicable to others but not unto itself. For its part, the Government of India was denounced for “reacting in a supine manner”.

To our knowledge, it seems the only political party in India to come out with a challenging, unequivocal statement on the whole affair has been the Aam Aadmi Party (Hindustan Times, 6 July 2013). It has squarely condemned the central government for denying asylum to Snowden, calling such an act as cowardly. It said,

As a country governed by a constitution which protects civil liberties it must stand up to the US government and offer political asylum to Snowden. Instead of honouring this hero who has alerted all to this massive violation of citizens’ as well as the nations’ rights of all countries including India, our government has meekly capitulated to US pressure and refused asylum to Snowden with great alacrity.

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