Wednesday, July 19, 2006

What - we're imitating China now?!

Talk about random...

What started out as a rumour has proven, unfortunately, to be true. As part of its "operations" against suspects implicated in the Mumbai blasts of last week (colloquially being called 7/11), the Indian government has blocked a list of approximately 150 blogs. These include links to sites like www.hinduunity.org and www.dalitstan.org. The justification for this action is that certain terrorist cells are being suspected of communicating through blogs.

If this was not ironic, it would have been funny. We Indians wear our democracy on our sleeves, and as such it is always great fun to pull out the democracy card to bash people over the head with. We can sit back and laugh at China's juggernautical (is that a real word? If not, it is now) economic progress with a smug, "well, at least WE don't require google to report usage statistics". Similarly, when the infamous Pakistani government blocked the ENTIRE blogspot domain earlier this year, we could gloat, secure in our own independence and access to information. (Not surprisingly, a parallel web infrastructure soon sprang into play, with pkblogs acting as a mirror site for all the sites hosted on blogspot)

I am still able to access most sites, but given that I'm in the UK that's not too unusual (blocking a domain locally would not affect users in other countries. In fact, given the tangled web of access that the Internet actually is, its quite likely that users in some part of India can access the blogs they want to without a problem). If its little consolation, the Government of India confirmed that the block is not all India - it doesn't affect the islands of Andaman & Nicobar, or Lakshwadeep. FINALLY! They make it to national, mainstream discourse!

Hopefully this is a temporary blip while the aforementioned "operation" is underway. Let us see how long it lasts...

Inquilab Zindabad!!

1 comment:

A_N_Nanda said...

'juggernautical'--there is no harm in using it. The only gripe is that the word etymologically refers to lord Jagannath, the objects of devotion of the millions of Hindus. For some reason the word as a derivative of the godly lexicon is used for expressing disapproving import.

I'd like you to return a visit to my website http://remixoforchid.blogspot.com and you'll find the running serial of the trials and tribulation of an author trying to get published and his way of taking on everything daunting to prove things so obvious and so easily ignored.
Thanks.
Nanda