Indian Twitter is the gift that keeps on giving. What started as a three-way tussle between Twitter, the Indian government and outraged users has morphed into a full-blown international kerfuffle. As with anything Indian that is political, the plot is never simple.
The controversy started a few days ago with Twitter temporarily suspending hundreds of accounts –seemingly on orders from the Indian government – that were perceived as sympathetic to the farmers’ protests against new laws relating to the agricultural sector.
The rationale offered by the Indian state in asking Twitter to enforce its request was that these accounts, of activists, news groups, and actors, were intent on whipping up anti-government violence among the protesting farmers.
In a perfect demonstration of Max Weber’s dictum that only the state is legitimately entitled to the use of force in a territory, this temporary de-Twittering was carried out almost exactly as the Modi-led Bharatiya Janata…