RSS affiliate lauds crackdown on Chinese app Zoom, and demands a 'made in India' version
Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM), the economic wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has urged the Centre to help develop similar indigenous platforms in India. The wing welcomed the "crackdown" on the virtual meeting platform Zoom, and has sought a similar action against Tiktok and Helo.
"Globally, there are allegations that the Zoom's critical encryption goes to their servers in China. And, there is no clarity on how much access the PLA or other Chinese government agencies have on this information. SJM understands that these encrypted keys along with data, can be used to unlock the virtual-meetings and in some cases debar the legitimate participants," the SJM said in a statement.
While asking for a "thorough investigation", the SJM urged the government to incentivise the domestic players to develop products like Zoom. It said that there is a need for such products enabling virtual meetings. Many top ministers, including Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and top opposition leaders, including Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi have been using the platform to hold meetings.
Upping it's ante against Tiktok and Helo, the SJM said, "There are series of reports and information on how they are indulging in the personal data thefts and the data beig used in the events leading to threatening national security, communal and social disharmony. This is a fit case to be investigated for their transfer of data, and what happens to the data after it reaches the servers in China".
The SJM has also welcomed the Home Ministry decision to exclude the e-commerce and movement of their supply vehicles from the list of relaxations in their previous guidelines. The guidelines would have been applicable from Monday. This would exclude the supplies of the non-essential goods by the e-commerce players for the rest of the period of the Lockdown 2.0.
"SJM firmly believes that this exemption would have led to non level playing field for offline retailers. Moreover, e-commerce players can neither keep their own inventory nor can indulge in the sale of private labels. The exemption would have only helped them to use their own network of retailers. This would not only have been unfair to the local retailers, but would have given unfair advantage to the giant e-commerce players," said SJM's National Co Convenor Ashwani Mahajan.
Mahajan and Swadeshi Jagran Manch has been extremely vocal against the e-commerce platform for a long time now. In January, the SJM had strongly recommended that the Centre bring ecommerce companies under the tax net in the Budget, to meet its revenue shortfall. In February, it asked government to find mechanism to 'regulate' e-commerce platforms.
Making a strong a case for small shop owners on Monday, Mahajan said, "In the fight against the pandemic, the grocery stores or Kirana traders did exemplary work and used their skills to not only ensure the supplies to the their consumers, but also shown maturity in maintain social distancing and hygiene practice. The services of small traders and grocers are appreciated by one and all. We also hope that the state governments which have issued guidelines for e-commerce would also withdraw their permissions."
Meanwhile, it has also lauded the government for one of its long standing demands -- the amendment that changes the Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) norms. The RSS affiliate says, it became necessary after the reports surfaced of Chinese funds and banks started picking up stocks of various Indian or India based critical companies.A
The new rules make it mandatory for the Chinese companies, like those from Pakistan and Bangladesh, require mandatory clearances from the Indian government. Earlier, they were allowed via automatic route. The SJM also demand that similar provisions must be added to the Chinese investments coming from other shores like Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, etc.
*Edited from an IANS report