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”.