It happens once again! A fingernail grew too long, and the government decided to chop off the hand!
And this is not the first time the Government of India has acted in an ill-informed knee-jerk manner. In 2003, we made international news, when we blocked Yahoo Groups because it hosted an anti-national separatist eGroup… so what if there were thousands of other groups that were pro-India and pro-democracy? (related posts written in 2003 can be found here and here)
And now, after the rather unfortunate and shocking terrorist attacks in Mumbai, the Indian government proved yet again that it does not understand modern technology – specifically the Internet medium.
The ISP blanket-blockade of most popular blog sites (including Blogger & Typepad) could be put in better perspective with the following hypothetical examples…
* All cable networks are banned because one obscure television channel telecasted an anti-national programme;
* All print publications are banned because one magazine publishes some questionable articles;
* Electricity is cut-off for the entire region, because a psychopath kills his victims by electrocuting them;
* And my favourite: Automobile traffic is banned across the country because a car was used by a murderer to kill his victim… (well, at least it will help return Bangalore to the pedestrians!)
While typing in these far-fetched and hilarious (?) examples, I cannot help but wonder if the mantra of the Indian government is indeed na bachega baans, na bajegi baansuri; an age-old proverb that says – “if there is no bamboo left, no flute shall play (and this would stop the menace of snakes!)”
Some of the bloggers are considering PILs, and I fully support this initiative – if we do go ahead with the filing.
For although the government has since withdrawn the blanket ban, there is an avid need to educate the legislators and the bureaucracy about the Internet per se. And the judiciary would be the perfect medium to initiate this action.
It is heartening to see that some of the local police departments are putting in commendable effort in starting their own blogs – to communicate to the media and the people (See yodha’s post – Police Blogging). This is a welcome start, for ONLY when more people from the government/bureaucracy start using the Internet in its various forms, will they understand the medium per se… And prevent repeating such shameful uninformed acts – especially for a country that projects itself as a IT Superpower!