Wanna kill a bird? Poison the air… !

Had been trying to access Yahoo! Groups over the last three days… Don’t know how I missed the news:
India bans Yahoo! Groups ! ! !

And that is the context for this post.

To begin with let me place on record my congratulations to the Government of India, for having finally woken to the world of Information Technology. At least now, we (allegedly) have a dedicated department and a set of cyber legislations to safeguard our interests online.

If only we could be happy about this. But no. We have to falter at every step. For every step forward, we have to take two backward. After all this is India.

The response by the newly-authorised Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) under the Department of Information Technology response to one Yahoo eGroup that was allegedly “promoting anti-national news and containing material against Government of India & State Government of Meghalaya” is very much in line with the moral-science stories we used to hear in kindergarten.

A classic case of “na bachega baans, na bajega baansuri,” which is an old Indian saying that means: “If there is no bamboo, there will be no playing of the flute”. Although this Hindi proverb has always been used to epitome the height of foolishness… its meaning seems to have been lost on our worthy bureaucrats. They seem to have taken it too literally!

That this newly set-up taskforce knows nothing about eGroups is clear in its foolhardy approach of blocking Yahoo! Groups per se, rather than putting an end to the problems caused by one.

If even one of the experts in the CERT-In Team knew anything about eGroups, they would know that this is a mass-mailing forum, wherein members send in one mail that gets distributed to all the members, who then would respond to it. It is very seldom used like a website, where people visit to read posts…

Blocking the eGroup does not mean people cannot communicate through it… One can still send in and receive messages to eGroups…!

By blocking Yahoo! Groups, all that the CERT-In has managed to is block the numerous online eGroups that are furthering the cause of India… It has managed to put a stop to the pro-India opinions being generated through the eGroups.

Can somebody remind our highly-intelligent friends that by blocking the whole of yahoo groups, they are cutting out all the pro-India eGroups too… not to mention the educational, technical, and academic eGroups that are furthering knowledge.

May be we could give them this message through a story (with a moral):
Once upon a time there was this bird flying in the air. It troubling people and spreading mayhem. The people wanted to stop this. Somebody said, let’s kill the bird. And some smart-alec decided that the best way to kill the bird was to poison the whole environment… !!! Soon the entire population was choking for air. Cries of HELP!, CHOKE!, I can’t breathe, I can’t speak, … filled the air. But then it was too late.

Somebody please remind our bureaucracy that there are more things in this world than that one bird…

Poisoning the air will kill everything… including democracy.

Long live Freedom!
Nakul

PS: For more details about India banning Yahoo! Groups per se, you may visit:
Government bans Yahoo! group: ISPs asked to block discussion forum of Meghalaya secessionists
Is the government right in blocking all Yahoo groups?
‘Anti-national’ Yahoo Groups blocked