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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I Hate Being Censored Because

Lord Wiki is protesting against SOPA and PIPA. They have blacked out the English Wikipedia for 24 hours, beginning at midnight January 18, Eastern Time. Readers who came to English Wikipedia during the blackout were not able to read the encyclopedia. Instead, we saw messages intended to raise awareness about SOPA and PIPA, encouraging us to share your views with your representatives, and with each other on social media.
I have had enough of censorships in my life. For the beginning there was censorship in the name of my being handicapped, then came the censorship based on my gender, religion, status (being married woman) and many other factors; which entered my life and changed me into something which I was not meant to be.  I found refuge in virtual world where I was free from these censorships, and could be myself; but, is that virtual life under threat too?
What do I hear? The internet is going to be censored in India also. Being technically blind, deaf and dumb, I cannot apprehend the issue on hand properly. But the news reports are enough to make even a simple internet user like me to understand, that this is going to be censorship of our freedom in the virtual world. Is another freedom fight on hand now against our own people? I hear that Aseem Trivedi’s website ‘Cartoon against corruption’ was taken down without even informing him. It was handled in a Hitlerian style. No court ruling was involved. So, if someone finds a website offensive it will be brought down just like that? Is there no need to decide whether the content of the website is really offensive or not? I thought internet was a place where you could access censored thoughts which cannot be expressed freely in reality. I first accessed internet to read Salman Rushdie’s Satanic verses. I was absolutely sure that the book is not going to corrupt me and I was right, it did not. My mind is strong and cannot be influenced by simple books. I loved having access to information that I censored for myself, because I am the best person to decide what I should read and what I shouldn’t.
Is our country so corrupt that it will fear cartoons making fun of its corruption? I think this is just the beginning. In future there is going to be control over what information needs to reach people. Anything can be deemed offensive for a person. I myself consider my computer to be holy and I cannot stand anyone making jokes about my computer. Does that matter to other people? There are so many people who cuss and even kick their computers.  
I do not have enough power to stop what is happening but I would like to contribute my two cents to the issue. Some wise person once said, “If you cannot burn like a lamp, then be a mirror that reflects its light”.  






25 comments:

  1. A STRONG POST :) well said..
    You can't stop them but WE can stop :)
    CENSORSHIP must be balanced, if it blocks all good stuffs and if there a position comes like totalitarian rule,, there is no use of being a democracy and that too we are world's largest democracy(WHICH NEVER WORKED)..
    FInd an alternative way to keep worms at bay..
    good contribution mam !

    --DeepaK

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right.. I is a weakling whereas WE can be superpower...

      Delete
  2. This Ozark Farm Chick always thought livin' in a democracy involved freedom of speech.

    As an adult, I feel I'm grown up enough to filter what is good and that, that is not. 'Nuff said!!!

    From the perplexed hills and hollers of the beautiful Missouri Ponderosa, ya'll have a wonderfully blessed day now...Ya hear???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. More than the censorship itself, it is the way the censorship is handled that is more disgusting.

      Delete
  3. very interesting post and strong views!!!

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  4. Replies
    1. Censorship is required on internet too, I agree with that part; but, the way the powers are handling it is all wrong.

      Delete
  5. It's like snatching the fundamental rights as internet is a powerful medium of present times. We feel empowered because of it. I think as they can't stop what's happening around the world. They thought of controlling the world with the click of mouse.

    Last line is profound...

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    Replies
    1. Yes Saru. I agree with what you say. But do you think everything can be controlled by a click of mouse when it has not been controlled by guns and tankers?

      Delete
  6. Your blog and your voice are your power. By writing this, you have done something and your efforts will be joined with everyone else who is fighting for the same. Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I like the way you moved from censorship in personal life to censorship of internet content. The adds force to your argument. But I feel there should be reasonable restriction on the freedom of expression. Since the government has lost credibility, we look at everyone of their decisions with suspicion. May be they can form a broad based committee to decide what constitutes "reasonable restrictions"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are absolutely right, there should be some amount of censorship. We all know how big the porno industry is on internet. Many girls are being kidnapped and used for making money through internet pornography.
      Also we cannot have people making fun of our flag, national emblem and religious sentiments of people.
      The way this is handled should change though.. that is my point. You cannot just say something is wrong and take it down without any case.

      Delete
    2. Reasonable restriction differs people from people BECAUSE we have come from all walks of life. But in any case, if there's something very objectionable and hurtful, you can take effective steps without dragging someone in a court (and you can't drag someone out of Indian jurisdiction to the court). In facebook and google+ there's something called the report button. Facebook even has them for advertisements, which I am you and I will agree that its fair especially in a time where platform have a right to say that we as a website/tv channel/newspaper/radio do not agree/represent/endorse the claims of the advertisement (or else TVC ads and Nirmal baba ads will never would have been on air). Even wordpress and blogspot has them. There has many hatred blog hosted on these platforms and they were very offensive and it made it obvious that they don't know what is going and/or what is the reality- or were banking on people's fear and half knowledge. People in mass reported it and it was taken down: Effective, honourable and right. There were even times when these platforms have released an official statement which they put it in these banned platforms. They also welcome such bloggers to launch a counter complaint- for which almost all of them can't because they know they will be in trouble.

      Mr. Hariharan, there's difference between satire, criticism and blasphemy. Blashphemy and satire differs to people to people, especially by both "mightier than thou" attention seekers and artists who have a different way of looking at things. Keeping them aside, if you object a group of people forces your indian hosting company to take down your site where you have mentioned that offends a company and it affects their business would you like it? No! Would you like if a small, misguided and politically motivated group of people who claim they speak for the entire population belonging to a religion force indian hosting sites to shut you down? If they want to shut you down, they should follow a procedure that the people of the internet have been doing it for years. Just because they have the power doesn't mean they can gag people. Like other people, they will have to follow the same route. If that does not satisfy them, they can go to the court.

      However such people prefer to make lobbyists who made politicians do their dirty work. Its fast, its effective and its gets the job done the way they want their job to be done.

      Delete
    3. I would just write the word REASONABLE in big bold letters.

      Delete
  8. Hey buddy that was a gud post
    lot of quality stuff and essential information
    BMW 635csi AC Compressor

    ReplyDelete
  9. We've started a campaign to rally bloggers around this cause and fight censorship in India, please help us spread the word - http://effinspeech.org/

    ReplyDelete
  10. Nicely written. Should I think twice before voicing myself should the Watchdogs of Cyber India shut down this site for voicing against the government ordnance. I thought such fears belonged to our pre-independence days. I too agree that incinerating opinions and misuse of freedom of speech should be curbed in the interest of the nation but is this the solution?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Fantastic, u gave me inspiration to write inward about how i feel upon u

    pls log on to aravindmallik.blogspot.com, pls

    Regards,
    Arvind Mallik

    ReplyDelete
  12. right to information act is our latest acquisition. close on the heels comes censoring . to start with internet.

    ours is no doubt the land of contradictions.
    but without reason and order we cant go forward.

    the only solution probably is the emergence of a super leader . who can assimilate all the contraedictions and come out with coherent views and policies.

    like the famed benevolent dictator this too may be sn improbable concept. but dreaming the impossible is our right . and probably the fore runner of good times.

    ReplyDelete

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