The Pegasus spyware scandal is certainly gaining ground. Opposition leaders have been demanding that either a joint parliamentary committee probe it or a judge of the Supreme Court. The judge of the Supreme Court should investigate, but the revelation that has happened has revealed that the name of former Supreme Court Justice Ranjan Gogoi is also involved in the case. The phones of the woman, who accused him of sexual assault and her husband, were also tapped with the help of Pegasus. If this sequence of events is proved, then the Government of India will suffer a great deal.
It would be presumed that the government tried to cover up his evil to save Gogoi or to repay some of his decisions. Apart from this, the name of the new Minister of Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnav in that list is a big setback for this government. It means you have made that person a minister whom you were spying on, and the same person is now trying to cover up that spying. This is a strange detective. He or any other minister or prime minister has not said a word so far about whether the Pegasus spy machine has been bought by the Indian government or not?
If the government has bought this espionage system worth Rs 500 crores, then why doesn't it clarify? They should also tell that against whom they have used Pegasus? If it is used against terrorists, rioters, smugglers and foreign spies, then it its good, but if it is used against journalists, politicians, judges and industrialists, then the government should explain the reason.
If these people were involved in anti-national activities then spying against them is not wrong at all, but were 300 people, including the BJP ministers, indulged in such activities? The intention of the government which spies on journalists is clear. It wants to eliminate or intimidate the sources who give news to the journalists so that the fourth pillar of democracy – the news media – is torn down.
It is true that no government can run without spying, but spying which violates the privacy of citizens and which prevents the truth from being revealed, is not only immoral, but illegal also. It is necessary that the process of legitimate espionage should also be rational and authentic and not be narrowly selfish.