When the Government of India launched the Aarogya Setu app in April 2020, I downloaded it on my phone. I had to answer a few basic questions about my health and travel history. It also gave me any idea of the spread of Coronavirus in my vicinity. It seemed simple, intuitive and harmless.
Then, I opened up mainstream and social media. There I learned that the Aarogya Setu app is a clear and present danger to the nation. Apparently, the app steals data, eats babies and causes earthquakes. And all this data is sent to a secret military base on Mars that is jointly maintained by the RSS and global Zionists. I was so scared that I had to check whether my right arm was still there, holding my phone, or whether the Aarogya Setu app had already bitten it off.
There were people posting publicly that they would *never* download the app. That they would face jail or death but never the app. These were intellectuals, journalists, filmmakers, lawyers and all other kinds of opinion makers in society.
You would think this crowd would celebrate when the Govt of India banned 59 Chinese apps the other day, including the hugely popular TikTok. I mean, if they are so scared about Aarogya Setu, imagine how worried they would be about Chinese apps in our phones. If Aarogya Setu is a danger to the republic, surely the Chinese apps would raise fears of Armageddon.
But they weren’t worried. Instead, they seemed terribly angry.
Now, I cannot tell you if the Chinese apps were up to something suspicious. I am not a journalist; I don’t know everything. But I am intrigued by the reaction from the liberal crowd.
The attack came in waves. First, virtually every blue tick handle from Nehru Dynasty Television tweeted against it. Even their alumni, who qualified as Harvard professors on Twitter, seemed unhappy. As the day progressed, the mourning spread through the ranks. Every celebrity anchor seemed furious about the ban.
Many of them pointed out the supposed injustice of TikTok being banned despite its humane quality of donating 30 crores to PMCARES. One top Lutyens lawyer, an infamous PIL troll, was so incensed that he even brought out the Chaiwala jibe against PM Modi!
So much emotional investment into an app? Why?
Now, you could say that a ban on 59 Chinese apps is not a strong enough reaction to what China did at the LAC. Pathological critics of PM Modi could have made jokes or memes, accusing him of “weakness.” But I saw very little of that. Instead, what I saw was real anger against the ban.
During primetime, Nehru Dynasty TV even paraded people who were supposed victims of the ban.
Why the emotional blackmail? Over an app? Really?
These journalists, lawyers, activists aren’t exactly known for exerting themselves emotionally unless they have very good reasons to benefit from it.
This does raise the possibility that something bad was already happening. Has somebody’s strategic interest really have been hit with these bans? Has that somebody activated all their assets in India to make their case?
Above all, we have one more reason today to never take privacy warriors seriously. Their hypocrisy is special even among the ranks of five star activists.
Who remembers the Cambridge Analytica story? Remember how they went on the offensive? And remember how they crawled away softly like puppies as soon as the Congress symbol was found in the CEO’s office?
When the govt launched Aarogya Setu, they said the republic is in danger. When the govt banned Chinese apps, they were angry. Their priorities, as well as their loyalties, are obvious.