On one hand there is much debate on the effectiveness of the National Action Plan, while on the other hand the terrorist affiliated organisation, Jamaat–ud-Dawa (JuD) has a strong, growing presence in the cyber-space of the country. The irony is not lost on anyone as the tech savvy cyber-team of JuD states the noble cause that drives them to run this extensive operation of activism and production, “It is our responsibility to counter threats of sectarianism and the negative portrayal of Islam, even by Muslim groups.”

Either the organizational structure of the JuD is so brilliant that they are capable of using social media to their advantage without incriminating themselves, or they work with the full support of the government who are not only sympathetic towards the violent sectarian group but also allow them space to inculcate their doctrine within the gullible populace.

Commitment to end terrorism requires we prevent the spread of violent extremist ideology at the grassroots level. It does not mean allowing banned outfits to have a bilingual cyber presence in 45 cities around the country. Just yesterday Mr. Nisar Ali Khan disclosed that the terrorists arrested from Daska belonged to Jamaat-ud-Dawa. Yet the JuD Chief is free to converse with Indian media over Twitter, sort out their misunderstandings and put up video messages for the other side.

If there are any lessons to be learnt from incidences like the Arab spring, is that social media is an extremely powerful tool at the disposal of anyone who uses it to their own advantage. While the government may have failed on just another front to use technology to combat terrorism, the least they can do is focus its energy on countering the JuD’s growing influence online instead of focusing on harmless individuals, throwing them in jail for objectionable tweets and Facebook posts.