Dream

Emergency And Censorship

Posted on: August 25, 2012

This Congress-led UPA government led by the passive and ever silent Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has got an uncanny knack of shooting itself in the foot. Everything that this government touches is turning to ashes. Everything is falling apart with the government looking clueless and lacklustre. To make the matter worse, its inability to provide good governance has reached legendary proportions.

The writing has been clearly written on the wall for quite some time now. But the final nail in the coffin came recently when the government, in an ill-advised move, decided to clamp down on the bulk smses and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter by asking them to remove objectionable contents and block the handles of those spreading hate massages by sharing and circulating widely the morphed images. This directive came in the wake of the exodus of North-East people from cities like Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad that caught everybody unawares and the blame for which fell upon the technology.

The gaffe-prone government sat on the dynamite by blocking the Twitter handles of those accused of spreading unrest and thereby posing a security threat to the country. Obviously this move didn’t go down well and within minutes the massive online protest hit the already beleaguered government like a tornado. Every twitterrati started throwing open challenges to the government to block his/her Twitter handle. The online protesters replaced their DPs with black flags even as the hash-tag #GOIBlocks trended unabated for over forty-eight hours.

Instead of learning any lessons the government spokespersons huffed and puffed to deny any such move although it soon became clear that Twitter was under pressure to suspend six handles impersonating the PM or PMO. By doing so this government has proved beyond an iota of doubt that it will not take any dissenting voices emanating from Twitter and mushrooming elsewhere online lightly. The PM can continue to observe his sacred vow of silence even as the riots break out killing the innocents and rendering countless homeless, the economic growth declines steadily, scams after scams tumble out of the closet and the scenario of gloom and doom prevails.

The satire is one of the most potent weapons a common man has at his disposal. Even with the help of popular satire one can register protest against the unpopular government decisions and policies or public figures. In a democratic set-up the dissent expressed through satire is widely accepted as long as it retains the decorum.

As if blocking these parody handles were not enough, the handles of certain respected and well-known journalists were also added to the blocked list. Soon it was apparent that the jittery government was in no mood to spare those expressing disagreement over any of its policies or style of functioning.

What followed was a lot of outrage and the solidarity expressed with those whose Twitter handles were blocked. Sensing danger in the air, the red-faced government lifted its roundly criticized clamp down but not before huge damage was done to its credibility.

Now many fear that the powers that be are so desperate that if they lose the mandate to rule, they won’t mind imposing Emergency. The attempts to censor the Internet were a trial run for the real thing that seems to be in store.

All the recent unfortunate developments lead the political observers to believe that all this brouhaha was both ill-timed and unwarranted. Where this government should have been seen as taking stern actions against rumour mongers, it indulged in the attempts to mess around with the citizens’ right to freedom of speech.

It is really unfortunate to note that the government has slipped into a state of permanent decay for which instead of addressing the root-cause, it is hankering after the symptomatic relief by dragging its feet on the sensitive issue like Internet censorship.

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3 Responses to "Emergency And Censorship"

[…] reading it at: https://xetcr.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/emergency-and-censorship/ Share this:ShareTwitterFacebookEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. By janamejayan, on […]

This Govt is in desperate haste to cover up the wrong doings rather than correcting them right.

@ Pansingh Correct, sir.

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Wow....!!! This Much Love.....!!!!

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