Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Moral Guardians

I had actually decided on keeping my rantings to a bare minimum in this space after the post on Aruna Shanbaug but it seems the Divine Providence always has something on His agenda which has to go against my well-thought-out and elaborate plans.
Even with the endless circle of scams and scandals characterized by varying acronyms (IPL, CWG, 2G, ED, CVC) which have acquired nothing short of a celebrity status in our daily lives now thanks to our 'very vocal' media sources, it seems the higher authorities are more intent on directing their energies at censoring the content that exists over the internet. Rather than dealing with a million other problems like swindler-turned-billionaires evading income tax worth thousands of crores of rupees or trying to tackle a loathsome monster named 'Corruption' which raises its ugly-as-hell head every now and then and seems beyond any kind of control, the government has now turned to moral policing of bloggers.

Young women are being raped and shot multiple times in the capital city in broad daylight by unknown miscreants but hey who cares about that? Keeping an eye over what the social media activists are writing in their blogs is far more important and demands immediate attention.

Under the Information Technology Amendment Act, 2008, a governmental proposal seeks to enforce the moderation of blogs and any discussion that goes on in the comments section of a post. If any comment/reader-posted link or part of the blog is found to be abusive, racist, vulgar, threatening, objectionable or defamatory according to the Government, then it will be considered the blogger's legal responsibility.
Just a few weeks back I was actually praising the way our Government respects a citizen's right to free speech and freedom of expression in a post. And I felt genuinely thankful to have not been born in a country like China or anywhere in the Middle East where the term 'human rights' is probably unheard of. Spoken too soon eh?



Now I'm not sure whether the word 'hell' is abusive or vulgar. For I've used it once in this post while describing an abstract entity that is, 'corruption' and totally wondering whether it qualifies as a grievous offense that could land me in jail like that famed Egyptian blogger. Would we require to register our blogs somewhere and obtain a license next?

My constitution tells me this country is a democratic republic which ensures justice, equality and liberty for all its citizens and where the will of the people is above all. I hope I can continue to have faith in it. And I hope I can believe in the fact that my voice won't be strangulated whenever I want to scream out in protest.


P.S: Dudes and dudettes, from now on take care about the way you comment on a blogger's post. Your choice of words and expressions can land the unsuspecting author in hot water.

P.P.S: The phrase 'dudes and dudettes' doesn't count as vulgar or racist right? *confused* Also is it a mere coincidence that I'm publishing this post on the International Day of Awesomeness?

P.P.P.S: Will sarcasm be regarded as a non-bailable offense now? #justcurious

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23 comments:

Pratul Bagri said...

Many people are saying that the Govt. is going "China" on us. I am wondering how can we express ourselves if government moderates that expression...?

P.S: Rofl at P.S

P.P.S: Happy Barney day ;)

Nethra said...

I'm tired of our government and its policies and corruption. Sigh! I wish they did some good instead of fooling around.

Anish said...

Hello authorities?Busy day in the office eh?Some blogger made fun of some socialite page 3 celeb?Some one wisecracked about a corrupt politician?oohh a really big offense.Get them and persecute them.Take down their blogs!Ohh don't mind people being shot,women being raped,farmers committing suicide,rising prices and crime rate in the country.No that's just fine!You have bigger and more important things to handle.Like banning FTV and AXN.

A well-done write-up on an important topic.And I didn't know they had a day dedicated to Charlie Sheen!

D2 said...

And we thought our democratic government was very just indeed. How very upsetting that we know reality.

Titash said...

I just feel, every government is taking precautions since the harmless word "jasmine" outraged and ousted governments and inspired two successful people movements.

I think such steps speak volumes of the time to come.

Prateek said...

Our government has just nailed our Democratic Rights thinking it of a Blonde. This is Sick. And Happy Barney Day also Happy Not-a-Fathers Day. :D

Giribala said...

He he ...Indians will not let this happen. They have tasted too much freedom. May our(bloggers') flag fly high :-)

♠ Tharangni ♠ said...

yep!!! i totally agree with you and i wrote my social exam like just today and after reading ur post i feel like my text book's a waste source of info!!!

Purba said...

We are living in strange times - walking the tightrope between economic liberalization and cultural fascism.

Blasphemous Aesthete said...

If I made any inappropriate comment according to the Govt' Moral Police, may my name speak for me and the words.

I think the Government has ample time when it overlooks key issues plaguing the country and then turns to fake talk and imposing restrictions.

But all this would only galvanize and revolutionize the things as they are... think of new breed of journalism. But still, I don't think they can be lame enough to really put it to action. Maybe they should read google's blogging report abuse policies once.

Nice read.

Cheers,
Blasphemous Aesthete

Samadrita said...

@Pratul: Going China on us...indeed.

@Nethra: I wish too. *sigh*

@Anish: Lol Charlie Sheen can at best be called a raving lunatic. Not awesome! :D

@D2: Upsetting indeed.

@Titash: I for one don't wish for such turbulent times for my country. I hope better sense prevails in the higher authorities.

Samadrita said...

@Prateek: The gov got it wrong. We're far from being pea-brained bimbettes. Bloggers will present a united front in these times.

@GB: Hehe yea. May the flag fly so high that it goes beyond the reach of any Gov official.

@Tharangni: Lol maybe it's not that good an idea to rubbish your entire text book. Let's have faith for the time being. :) Good to see you on my blog after such a long time.

@Purba di: We sure are. :(

@Blasphemous Aesthete: Even I'm hopeful that this ridiculous act won't come into being. But seeing our Government's recent fallacies I'm not too sure.

suryatibrewala said...

Far more sinister is the internet kill switch and the new powers being granted to the US government to help "control" the internet. They are spouting good intentions about protecting copyrights and saving people from fraudsters and sex offenders... but really they have taken the power to shut down any website or page without any judicial review... yeah... take that China... and Hillary Clinton is talking about promoting democracy and freedom of speech...

Quintessence Of Illusion said...

Well done girl...the government is interested in things that actually matters not and does nothing about issues that needs to be dealt with immediately...our constitution says that we have freedom of speech but seriously im doubtful about it....Why ban Jafar Panahi movies...Why ban Satanic Verses...Why ban W Bourrough's Nova Express...and this list of why's continues...

Lakshmi Rajan said...

So how to take a revenge on a blogger? :P just post an offensive comment when he/she is buzy on holidays and away from comp :P

- Lakshmi Rajan

Abha Midha said...

You are abs right.... the govt needs to focus on unearthing the multitude scams which have plagued the country recently and not clip the wings of bloggers without valid reason. Blogging is akin to other forms of media and should be able to enjoy freedom of expression too.

Rajlakshmi said...

Of all the things in the world, of the ammendments and laws to make, they found blogs as the target ... beats the hell out of me...whats next, indian version of Google

wisewit said...

Yeah, watch out Sammy! Didn't you use the f-word in describing a politician a few years back.

In practical terms, they can't really enforce such a law--even China can't.

So how did it get started anyway? To me, it sounds a bit like the hate-speech laws we have in the U.S. Those were enacted with the best of intentions, but I'm worried that sometime in the future some politician will get the "brilliant" idea of using them to discredit people who say something they don't like.

let's hope that doesn't happen . . .

wisewit

Being Pramoda... said...

Ok gal.. then lets do Shhhhhhhhhh...!!!

Hope freedom of expression live longer!!

ajay said...

I didn't know that Govt. is going to censor our blogs from now on until I read your post. This is pathetic!

♫ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ♫ ayu ♫ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ♫ said...

i actually think that middle east and other countries who doesnt give a damn to their people should have a seminar on good governance and moral rights..haha..i hate them..those leaders who call themselves as such..

cloud nine said...

Is commenting on fellow bloggers legal?@#$%^^&*()@! Me too confused right now. Lets not make India a sand box. SAY NO TO IT BILL. Lovely post!

evanescentthoughts said...

Now we need to think before we write, comment.. so sad :(

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