Censorship

Freedom of expression to take a hit?

12:31 PM

You know it’s going to be a bad day when you just recovered from a cold, have two cold sore budding on your upper lips, didn’t sleep well the previous night and are dealing with PMS….yes all at once.
And all you need to make the day significantly worse is for you to switch on your netbook, to log in to Facebook in order to get your daily morning dose of gossip and updates from friends and nothing happens. At first you wonder if the internet connection is down, then you can check all the other site but Facebook, so you logically decide it must be a temporary server issue and wait an hour.
That’s what happened to me this morning, and an hour later I no longer get the Firefox “cannot load page” window, nope I get redirected to an Airtel page (my ISP) with only the word dns error.
Now that stinks a ban let me tell you, after all in 2006 all blogs on blogger and pages on free website building hosts such as geocities were banned for a while, I blogged about it after finding a proxy to still be able to access my blog. It didn’t take me long to figure out India might have yet another politically issue related to the content on the internet, and sure enough it seems that Google and Facebook are appearing in court because of a issue with objectionable content. I spent an hour googling around, not much in the official news section other than older article pointing at a threat of a China like ban on certain site in India…sigh.

Certain forums posted tricks to bypass the blockade put into place by ISP such as Airtel, and I followed the one mentioned by a commenter on this site, and since then it seems that the ban has been lifted already, though I can’t tell you for sure, my DNS server is still set to the 8.8.8.8 setting and I don’t plan on changing it for now.


Now the real issue is this one: Has India any freedom of speech left? I must say that I find that things are going in a very dangerous direction, from TV programmes to be more and more heavily edited, beeps multiplying to the point that even scientific words relating to genitals such as penis and vagina or even the word coitus or copulation seem to have no place on the air any longer. Which is incidentally one of the reason why I watch even less TV than before. Viewer’s discretion is apparently no longer an option, and if enough people report that they find snorting inappropriate to the BCCC then I’m sure this would be cut from movies too.
And if it was in the entertainment word alone, but it seems some political parties I won’t name have some issue dealing with bad press and comments, leading to some of their goons going to trash a News Channel’s office, or pushing for a ban of a book in the university curriculum…yup if you have been criticised, and have some power the best route is to punish and trash those who have another opinion than yours, or ban certain words, or half the content of the internet. And that people is apparently called democracy! And India is calling itself the biggest democracy in the world…

No question that some content in social networking site and blogs is bad and awful, and yes I wrote a while back about a certain blog by a certain Nirmal Singh that was trashing western women married to Indian which blogger still refused to take down despite many complaints from many ladies in my blogging community. The “Good” news is the troll removed all content from said blog, moved her trash to a wix site which was first open to the public and we had no difficulties having it to shut down as wix has more stringent policy than Google on this matter, only for her to come back on the same domain with all pages being password protected, there we let her be, she is entitled to keep whatever collection of trashy racist rant as she want as long as it isn’t openly public.
The question in India is as what is considered objectionable, there are no guidelines, TV has proven it, the Friends Episode in which Rachel put beef in a trifle has been edited on WB simply because beef has been found to be objectionable to Hindus, it’s not like they are forced to eat it watching the show, but apparently mentioning that yes indeed in cultures and religions in other parts of the world people eat cow’s meat is a disgraceful fact to be exposed to, God forbid knowledge, ignorance shall remain bliss!

What countries with severe repression and restrictions fail to understand is that it inevitably lead to people finding more illegal ways to digress. The countries with the higher rate of crime against women are the ones who repress anything sexual to the point of calling it immoral and dirty. No outlets lead to frustration and frustration lead to criminal behaviour…plain and simple.
Education and moderation as a result to education however lead to a more tolerant society, the catch of course being that Education is more work in the first place, and would lead to the downfall of a highly corrupted political regime as which we are all submitted to right now, those who are in power and are robbing the country of trillions of rupees surely wouldn’t want that…So ban it is! Let the people remain in the dark and if possible with no mean to communicate in networking site.

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