How Much Is Too Much?


America Tapping World Leaders’ calls?

It’s an open secret that our Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is not a very chatty or communicative person, and people of this country are usually shocked when he actually says something. But brace yourself for something even more shocking —the Indian Prime Minister does not have a mobile phone or an email ID!

According to a report in The Guardian, The National Security Agency (NSA) monitored the phone conversations of 35 world leaders after White House, Pentagon and State Department officials gave them the numbers. The furore over the scale of American mass surveillance revealed by Edward Snowden shifted to a new provocative level when Angela Merkel a German Chancellor called Barack Obama to demand explanations over reports that the US National Security Agency was monitoring her mobile phone.

But India which has witnessed a mobile telecom boom in the past decade, with the latest figures from the national telecom regulator showing 876 million phone connections in the country of 1.2 billion people has nothing to worry about in this front; no sir New Delhi has “no cause for concern”, when asked if the Prime Minister was concerned about these new US hacking revelations, the PM’s spokesperson said, “The prime minister doesn’t use a mobile phone and he doesn’t have an email account.” He added, “His office uses email, but he has no personal email… We have no information and no cause for concern,”

It would be highly over optimistic on our part to expect the 81-year-old soft spoken PM to be hooked on to his mobile screen and checking his mail every few minutes, but not having a mobile or an email account is just stretching out too far and wide. On a lighter note how useful would an email account have proved when Rahul Gandhi called the ordinance  bill “nonsense” without the slightest of warnings and embarrassing the PM while he was touring the United States Of America. But this turned out to be a blessing in disguise since, thanks to our PM, no confidential information or intelligence from India has been leaked to the United States.

Jokes apart, this has indeed turned out to be a serious issue since some of the European countries didn’t have our luck and this revelation has kicked up quite a storm in certain countries and has strained U.S – Europe relations. So intense was the anger in Berlin over the eavesdropping suspicion that Elmar Brok the chairman of the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee called America’s security establishment a creepy “state within a state.” He also said that since Sept. 11, 2001, “the balance between freedom and security has been lost.”

It is true that the revelation of the extent of America’s spying on its European and Asian allies has added fuel to the fire and has seriously eroded confidence in the leadership of the United States, that too when the political establishment in USA is in a particularly difficult phase.

At this point, this may not be a huge cause for concern in India but in the coming days it just might be. The United States now needs to draw a line when it comes to “security” and decide how much is too much!

Is it right for the Prime Minister of India to not have an email id or mobile? What do you think? Write your opinions in the comment box below.

Image Source []