Monday, August 2, 2021
HomeEditorialJulian Assange is not a saint & WikiLeaks has no authority

Julian Assange is not a saint & WikiLeaks has no authority

Again, website WikiLeaks came into limelight, hitting headlines in India over its recent clarifications on BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. WikiLeaks clarified that the US diplomatic cables released by it in 2011 never described Modi as “incorruptible” (principled) or “the lone honest Indian politician”. Before this declaration, Modi’s social network team and BJP support group randomly circulated a screen short on social media, and that went viral stating “”America is scared of Modi because he is incorruptible”. Later on, WikiLeaks gave clarification over this goof up.

Here the question arises, from where BJP supporters received this piece of cable? They had circulated this in public without checking the authenticity of the piece of cable. Even they might ask the authenticity with WikiLeaks, whose officers are available 24×7 online. Supporters like Preeti Gandhi and many others who are promoting Modi in the cyber world and part of BJP’s IT Cell, had been circulating posters quoting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. I am surprised to see that how the team is working for Modi without any sense of responsibility. They unnecessarily invited trouble for their leader. Anyhow, Wikileaks has clarified that it never endorsed Modi.

However, Julian Assange also cannot be counted as a saint. There are so many allegations of molestation, rape and other controversies. His team desperately needs money and on their WikiLeaks pages, they are begging for money. They are making very hard efforts to collect donations. At this moment, degrading Modi can fetch them fame, name and also financial perks from rivals. They may even get some donations. Besides this controversy, Modi or BJP have not asked for their certificate nor do they need to give them any. People have made it clear that they want Modi to win as they want good and stable governance which can throw country on the path of progress. It’s the people of this country who will decide the fate of Modi and BJP and not websites like WikiLeaks.

Two years ago, WikiLeaks and its support group campaigned against a handful of financial groups and were perusing people by asking for donations. WikiLeaks is leaking now and is ready to drown. There is no excuse for stealing the documents of the governments, commercial establishments, banks, credit card companies and individuals. WikiLeaks have to spend millions of dollars to defend the legal problems facing Assange and the WikiLeaks in England and the rest of the world. Other hackers have started attacking WikiLeaks the same way Assange attacked others. There are many hackers still languishing in jail for supporting Assange, but so far he never realised his moral duty towards them. Hackers strongly feel that Assange has betrayed them. Assange is not someone who is trying to hunt out a scandal, with honest journalistic approach and efforts, like the Bofors scandal, Harshad Mehta or Telgi scam. He mainly collects information from some disobedient employees in administration, and publishes them to get unsavory reputation. So, let’s be honest and look at the real side of it. Please do not try to portray him as some kind of sufferer for a cause. By doing so, we are doing injustice to real seekers of truth and hardcore journalists, who have given their lives for the profession.

My question to media is, why are they forgetting that Assange has been arrested for sexual crimes? For me Sucheta Dalal, Tarun Tejpal (who is arrested under rape charges recently) and his team and Barkha Dutt like journalists are far greater than Assange. I still get goose bumps when I recollect what Tehelka had gone through after exposing the lacunas in defense forces. Arun Shourie is one of the greatest examples of an honest journalist in India. There are many such heroes who suffered and yet without begging or borrowing they sustained with their ethics and principles. India has too many journalists who fit into this category. Jayalalitha, Madhu Koda, Harshad Mehta and all top scams of India have been exposed by different journalists before any Assange. Let us not make this guy some kind of pioneer for truth seeker or bringing controversies as truth. This happened even earlier and this will continue further. The only thing Assange is using is totally a different modus operandi all together.
It was initially assumed when the molestation and rape charges were filed in Sweden against Julian Assange that, it was a political hit job — an attempt to silence him for publishing stuff that powerful people don’t want to see published. In this case, the main concern the women had about Assange’s behaviour which they reported to police in person related to his lack of interest in using condoms and his refusal to undergo testing, at the women’s request, for sexually transmitted disease. A detailed, sequential account of the women’s alleged happenstances with Assange which in both cases began with consensual sexual contact but later included what the women claimed was non-consensual sex, in which Assange didn’t use a condom was published by The Guardian. Assange was originally sought for questioning in relation to accusations by two women in Sweden whose various claims include having sex with him that was not fully consensual. A prosecutor dropped the investigation, and he left Sweden without being interviewed but was summoned back by an arrest warrant. After that he was not in news from last some months; he emerged again with Modi’s news. We can say, India’s 2014 General Election has given breathe to Assange. Please do not portray Assange as a saint of God or hardcore truth seeker. The fact is that somewhere he is primarily some kind of coercer too. Accreditation by WikiLeaks’ website does not guarantee the merits of Indian leaders. And if he does not endorse, that doesn’t mean the leader does not have a character of his own.

Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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