Tweaking and misinterpreting Indian history in textbooks and public discourse is nothing new for the Indians, and now the practice might be finally catching up with the digital age.
On 26 June, @AnonGoIWPEdits, a Twitter handle which 'tracks all anonymous edits of English Wikipedia (ie, w/o editor being logged in) from a wide range of Govt of India IP addresses,' reported an edit to Jawaharlal Nehru's Wikipedia page.
The revisions, originated from a Government of India IP address, said Nehru's grandfather Gangadhar Nehru was a Muslim, reports the Times of India. Salacious details of his "affair" with Edwina Mountbatten, the wife of India's first governor general, Lord Mountbatten, were also added to his page.
Similar edits were made on the pages of Gangadhar's son Motilal Nehru.
"All this shows that it is an IP address provided by National Informatics Centre (NIC). It doesn't say anything more than that," said Pranesh Prakash, policy director at Centre for Internet and creator of the tracking software in an interview with TOI. When asked if the user could be pinpointed, he said that it would be difficult as it isn't clear as to who all have access to the NIC network.
The malicious edits stated, "Gangadhar was born as a Muslim by the name of Ghiasuddin Ghazi but changed his name to a Hindu Ganga Dhar to escape British clutches."
Demanding an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the changes, the Congress Party on Wednesday asked whether the National Informatics Centre (NIC) is now engaged in a sinister attempt to convert lineage of the country's first prime minister and carry on with the propaganda of the sangh parivar, reports Business Standard.
"Wikipedia pages of Jawaharlal Nehru, Motilal Nehru were altered. What is worse is that it was done from a government IP and from National Informatics Centre," CNN-IBN quoted Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala as saying.
Questioning Modi over the issue, Surjewala said, "Will PM answer how were Wikipedia pages of former Prime ministers and Congress leaders altered through a government IP?"
These edits were later deleted by volunteer editors of Wikipedia.
'Jawaharlal Nehru' Wikipedia article edited anonymously from a Govt. of India IP address: https://t.co/OAUvihuL2f
— Anon GoI WP Edits (@AnonGoIWPEdits) June 26, 2015
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Updated Date: Jul 02, 2015 10:42:23 IST