Internet in J&K for 'dirty films': VK Saraswat apologises after uproar
NITI Aayog member and former DRDO chief V K Saraswat stoked a fresh controversy when he appeared to support internet ban in Jammu and Kashmir contending that people in Kashmir used the internet only to watch 'dirty films'.
'What difference does it make if there is no internet in Kashmir? What do you watch on the internet there? What e-tailing is happening there? Besides watching dirty films, you do nothing there,' Saraswat had in an interaction in Ahmedabad after delivering a lecture on 5G communication technology at a private institute on Saturday.
Saraswat's comments triggered a severe backlash with some reminding the former top defence scientist about BJP leaders watching porn in the Karnataka assembly and the ruling party's defence of the act.
Twitterati went to the extent of digging out BJP IT Cell chief Amit Malviya's tweets dating back to 2012 questioning whether watching porn was illegal.
An embarrassed Saraswat rushed into a damage control exercise and came out with a clarification that he was not against the rights of the people of Kashmir to have access to the internet.
Saraswat also issued an outright apology and contended that he was quoted out of context as his lecture at the institute on 5G technology and related issues.
'I have been quoted out of context. If this misquotation has hurt the feelings of the people of Kashmir, I apologise and would not like them to carry this impression that I am against the rights of the Kashmiris to have internet access,' Saraswat said.
He claimed that he was asked questions about the performance of the government and the economy instead of the topic of his lecture.
While Congress refrained from commenting on the issue, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury lashed out at Saraswat and counselled him to read the Preamble of the Constitution to update himself.
Centre had enforced a communication shutdown in J&K since August when it stripped it of the special status under Article 370 and bifurcated the state into two union territories.
Over the past few months, the Centre has been easing the clampdown on communication by allowing the use of landline telephones, mobile telephones and internet use, gradually.