GOI Blocks

34 Comments

Not only can the UPA government not implement anything that resembles policy, it is so darned incompetent that it cannot even be properly dictatorial. Forget North Korea or China, even Didi has it beat in that respect. Which is why when people call this Emergency 2012, I have to roll my eyes. Because the Emergency was a coordinated, strategic strike at the heart of India’s democracy, rolled out with clinical efficiency by Indira Gandhi, which actually served its purpose (well at least for a while). This government’s attempt to stifle dissent—well it’s like Suresh Raina on a juiced up Johannesberg pitch against Steyn bowling short deliveries.

Embarrassing.

First of all, the technical process of blocking websites .In 2006, the government of India had tried to block blogs because evidently the SIMI was using them to communicate. It ended up blocking entire blogging services and, in a bizarre twist, some Western conservative blogs. If that was not enough of egg on face, it went and blocked bloodspot.com because I guess some babu thought it must be a violent version of blogspot.com (except bloodspot.com was, at the time of writing, a medical lab’s website). Now if one had expected that the powers-that-be had gotten their game together six years later and would not be seen running at windmills, hopes were dashed when the public face of the government’s tech-arm, Mr. Kapil Sibal, talked about URL numbers in an official statement. And just as we were getting memories of the terribly addictive “What is your mobile number?” ditty of Govinda from our head, we discovered that even though several twitter accounts had been officially blocked, they could freely be accessed by customers of certain ISPs. Or as they say in the corridors of tech companies “Button khulla hai”.

Now any government with even pretensions of being democratic and inclusive would have done the courtesy of making a public statement with lists of all accounts blocked and, perhaps, some rationale for them. Of course, the UPA men and women have proven, consistently, that they care as much for democracy and transparency as Sachin Tendulkar cares for retirement.

Given that, could we have at least hoped that their ultra-secret black list does not then make it out to the press, and the GOI can come across as a dark Death star that silently eats up twitter accounts without even a sound?

No.

Even there, it fell on its face as the list leaked to the press almost instantly. What do we find there? A Twitter user who hardly ever tweets on politics on the blacklist. And that another Twitter account on it. Twice. [Link]

Stuff mouth with garlic. And then drive stake through heart just to be sure.

Or perhaps a typo that reflects the level of effort that went into this tax-Rs-sponsored witch-hunt.

Now moving beyond the technology to the “larger strategic objective”. What were they thinking? That within a list of sites that had genuinely inflammatory content, they would quietly slip in the twitter ids of Hindu right-wing commentators and the government’s political opponents and no one would notice or care?At the very least, did no one think of the possibility that by doing this, they would just make their opponents become even bigger heroes in the eyes of their base? They could have just let the Congress’s own Twitter team, who are by no means shy or insignificant, fight fire with fire and just keep it there.

Which leads me to ask— who are these people making the calls? Even the dimmest of bulbs understand self-interest, purely as a Darwinian impulse.

Evidently not.

If there is any sophistication shown by anyone, it has been by the government’s plants in the press. They have sought to play this up as a case of the government actually doing what they were supposed to do, stymieing poisonous rumors being spread over Twitter. What they of course sidestep is that the government has not furnished an iota of proof (maybe because it does not exist) as to why they believe their political opponents and some Right-wing sympathetic journalists have been perpetuating rumors.

What they also fail to explain is why PM spoof accounts have been sought to be blocked? Why? Are we supposed to believe that the crowd at Azad Maidan follow tweets and could conceivably, not reading the bio, subscribe to the wrong Prime Minister’s account and then get inflamed by the fact that the PM is not silent as they had been led to believe? Are we supposed to believe that, if someone truly wants to make rioters run amok through the streets using tweets of the PM as the rallying point, they cannot take a screenshot of his genuine account, change the words through some form of editing and wave it to the crowd or circulate as an MMS?

But be as it may, the government’s press at least has done the shadow dance pretty well. It however is the government that has become the hole in the center of the doughnut.

Lest it be mistaken, I have full faith in this government, as individuals, to be as ingeniously devious and self-serving as possible. But collectively, I am afraid they have become more Jar Jar Binks than the Evil Emperor.

And that to me, is rather disappointing.

 

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34 thoughts on “GOI Blocks

  1. Ch***tiya Congress ke Ch***tiyape. Even Exbii moderators can do a better job of banning and deleting contents. Any porn website moderators can do that. Bloody Congy n00bs. mingebags of the gaming world can do better job! Bahahahha nice taunting blog. Now are they going to block this too? follow me on twitter as @wolf1711
    PS: Do these guys really know how the internet works? Or are they PG Diploma Holders from some amrtitpalpur chagania computer institute?

  2. Well written as usual. Imagine a prime minister in an elected democracy saying in as many words that he doesn’t care about explaining himself or the Govt’s actions to the people who elected the Govt in the first place.

  3. Are Viswabandhu Gupta (the cloud computing genius) and Kapil Sibal related in any way?
    Pathetic is an encouraging term for this govt., it’s a disgrace upon itself and educated/well meaning Indians.

  4. Why would you be disappointed? There is no ‘spin’ no ‘tact’ no ‘state craft’ as Jaitley calls it, if these existed the Government would commit this idiocy and get away with it’s credence intact

  5. Thanks for writing! The worst part is if one criticizes UPA, one is accused of Right wing while the fundamentalists at both the ends make mockery of democracy and nationalism.

  6. Honestly, which government in the past 20 years has ever been adept or effective? And which of those has really been tactful and suave and Frederick-Forsyth-ish in their cunning diabolical ways?

    Not one. Each one has proved to be Shambu Shikari meets James Bond spoof.

    Honestly, What can be said about Congress can be said about BJP as well. There isn’t much choice either ways. Between babudom, incompetence, bribery, corporate-politician-media-criminal nexus, corporate fraud colluding with government graft and of course a lack of basic infrastructural upkeep, deficiency of coal, shortfall in electricity, massive oil dependence (through imports) …. India is not exactly a bastion of resilience, independence, stability and sustainability.

  7. One important correction: The song is not “What is your mobile number?”, but actually “What is mobile number?” (followed by “What is your smile number?” I think).

  8. Since two days I was facing “Database connection error” whenever I visit your blog. I was afraid that the “Censor board of the Congress party” has blocked your blog as well… Thank goodness they are ignorant about you and your blog.

  9. @ Great Bong,
    Excellent post.
    Insightful & engaging.

    I do believe the present government’s legacy will be incompetence, amazing in the degree of both, its breadth and depth.

  10. Joker : Do I look like a man with a plan? Ditto Congress. No alternative other than the mythical saviour Nemo (people it seems would prefer re-electing Congress). Total chaos and confusion. How long is the question.

  11. Now be careful about your use of the term “babu”. It is a term used by semi literate Indians with no familiarity with colonial history and prejudices. “Babu” was a derogatory term for every educated Indian in the colonial era.

    Another increasingly common word that makes me cringe is babu, a term of the most profound respect in all Indian languages that colonials turned into a figure of scorn. Today, all newspapers (including, alas, this one) ape the 19th century British and speak glibly of babus and babudom for the bureaucracy, little realizing that the practice mocks all educated English-speaking Indians.

  12. Contrast and compare the Government of India’s respect for free speech when the party/coalition in power was BJP/NDA against the Congress/UPA rule.

    6 years of BJP-led NDA rule (1999-2004) did NOT see any stifling of free speech. Then, the media and netizens were free to criticise and abuse anyone from the BJP (especially Sri. Narendra Modi) to their hearts’ content without any official repercussions.

    Nearly 6 decades of Congress-led rule have amply demonstrated how draconian, dictatorial, quasi-Stalinist and anti-democratic the Congress-Nehru-Indira-Maino cabal has been when it comes to suppression of free speech:

    1) The Emergency of 1975-1977: Some highlights include:

    – The Congress Party supremo Indira Gandhi granted herself extraordinary powers and launched a massive crackdown on civil liberties and political opposition.
    – Detention of people by police without charge or notification of families: The Government used police forces across the country and arrested 140,000 opposition activists without any change.
    – Widespread abuse, torture and murder of detainees and political prisoners. The Rajan case is a good example.
    – Use of public and private media institutions (like the ONLY national television network Doordarshan) for government propaganda and stifling of the national press/newspapers.
    – Forced sterilization: In 1976-1977, the forced sterilisation program counted 8.3 million sterilisations, up from 2.7 million the previous year.
    – Large-scale and illegal enactment of laws (including modifications to the Constitution).

    2) In 2008, the Congress-administration arrested and tortured Gurgaon software engineer (22-year-old IT professional Rahul Krishnakumar Vaid ) and Hyderabad resident (22-year old Nithin Chakravarti Suresh) accused of ranting in a Orkut group against Sonia Maino

    3) In 2011, Congress-UPA leader Kapil Sibal (Minister of State for Communications and IT) wanted to censor Facebook. But one brave IIT-KGP student’s petition put an end to it, temporarily.

    4) Blocking of 250 websites includes HJS and The Pioneer’s Deputy Editor Kanchan Gupta’s Twitter account.

    It is always darkest before dawn.
    2014 Elections, here we come !

  13. and then the government banned the great bong… coz the pm office is too lame to understand anything this intellectual, yet obvious…

  14. its really funny.

    On one hand the perpetrators of riots, as per the Government, were misguided Muslims who were being influenced by “Pakistani” propaganda.

    On the other hand, nearly half the sites that the government blocked are pro-Hindu sites that are critical of the Congress Party and its policy of appeasement.

    Some of the blogs blocked are pretty “pro-India”, and are only critical of the ruling party’s policies.

  15. So, your gripe is against the government trying to
    1. crack down on ANY form of speech on the internet
    OR
    2. crack down on hateful and potentially dangerous speech on the internet
    OR
    3. take advantage of the situation and crack down on perfectly valid political speech of opponents on the internet?

    My understanding from your post is that it is #3. Which would mean that you aren’t against putting curbs on freedoms where national security is concerned?
    Just curious.

  16. Its the classic Frankenstein story. No disrespect to anyone, but the government is now manned by those, many of whom are undeserving beneficiaries of the eternal and ever increasing governmental “helping hand at the cost of other” polices and sub-policies.

  17. I have not followed the twitter block part much, but limiting sms does seem crazy while both right and non-right wing fools can spread propaganda through phone calls.
    It is a fact that there is much more rumour spread on facebook than anywhere else. Everyday i login to see a nice little critique of govt showing images of muslim kids vandalsing Amar Jawan Jyoti, even attacking Mahavir`s statue in Lucknow to vent ire against Burmese buddhists. (those losers would have thought it was Buddhas statue). The thing to do is throw the vandals and their leaders behind bars, and also kick the right wing teams who never tire of the awakening the Hindu thing. Trust me ..i havent seen one minority related propaganda while everyday i get 10 right wing shares (5 of which are abt Assam and amarjyoti). There is no harm in blocking such filth.

    Over all i just dont understand the FEAR the religious folks live in.. if they trust their GOD/Scripture so much , leave it to the Dude in the Book. If he is half good as what is written he will take care of ur religion and ur men. U just mind ur business and family.

    Hindus have enough Gods to take care of them and btw..they are not gonna get extinct anywhere soon..Hinduism is so elastic that they after a pastors brainwashing Indian Hindus put Jesus pic beside Ganesh`s and pray to both. just as they pray at Ajmer. So if the saffron groups need power or funds to gold plate temples, do that stating it clearly.. dont terrify that other religions are gonna take over.

    Muslims – Guys.. you need a serious change. If you follow the crazy mullahs advocating muslims you are only going to get ailenated, I personallly heard a mufti saying – that hum darne wali kaum nahi hai, darane wali hai.. i wish i could kick his teeth. Recognize that Islam is A religion, not THE ONLY religion in the world. Leave Islam to Allah, do your Namaz, Roza, Haj and keep quiet. Living standards of Muslims are among the worst in India, i urge the Mullahs to do something about it, educate the youth in Duniya. Deen is always safe unless u think it is not.

    Christians, Sikhs (u are a different religion – dont lose it as Khushwant said).

    My two cents…

  18. dear sevic
    You live in a fool’s paradise.
    Stay there.

    You dont understand Hindu or Sikh traditions. You understand Islam even lesser than that.

    And your opinion was not even worth the two cents you think it was.

  19. Dear Bengalvoice,
    You are so correct.
    Pseudo-secular useful-idiots (many on this forum) usually used to raise the bugbear of “hindutva ppl will take ur freedom away” propaganda.

    I can understand the Bongs doing it, given that they were fed on a steady hormonal dose of anti-Hindu propaganda during the 30+ years of Leftist rule, that disconnected them from their identity. But many of these useful idiots were actually non-Bongs.

    Now it is so ironic that the pseudo-secular parties are the ones that, in their appeasement race are muzzling anyone who is exposing their corrupt practices and political misdeeds.

  20. savichevich

    I certainly wont need u to judge my understanding of Traditions, nor value its worth.

    Ur superficial understanding is exposed – by ur comments saying 30yr Leftist rule (only at state level) disconnected Bongs from their identity. Was a thousand year civilization so weak that it can collapse in 30 yr.

    If u look closely orthodox islam could not take away most of the ‘Indian’ practices of the Muslims whose ancestors were indeed Indians – who were following what is known as early Persian invaders called ‘Hinduism’ . Infact the Arabs themselves were pagans before Islam started.

    Hinduism is confusing – a times a profound philosophy, at times pagan too, something that is big enough to include Carvakas materialistic point of view. It is nothing but different things evolution of a civilization – what ppl under Sindhu river did. It is not really a religion to me. Lot of ppl in India when asked what are u – say their Caste – not their religion first.

    Religion highly romanticizes the past – Not all there is true and great.

    Minority appeasement will be there as long as the right wing dudes keep whipping up passions among the Hindus. It is just their strategy not love or anything,..just like the right wings strategy to color everything saffron.

  21. “Minority appeasement will be there as long as the right wing dudes keep whipping up passions among the Hindus.”

    Sevic
    And then you wonder why i said you live in a fools’ paradise.
    Hindu passion gets whipped up automatically when they see the level at which multinational corporate-militaristic religions are appeased. And here you are turning it around turning it around and blaming the Hindu victims.

    Sad…very sad.

  22. I feel sorry for the constant threat which the religious folks like u live in, despite being so sure about ur brand of faith,..whats worse is u are worried about the safety of the faith itself.

    Try coming out of the whichever well you are in and take a peek at the world.

    BJP is trying hard to get atleast 50% of 80% vote that Hindus constitute, they will sure get there someday….. but not by crying hoarse over the 15% Minorities(13% Muslim, 2.5% Christians), they way is through getting rid of the great Indian exclusive phenomenon called Caste.

    Uninhibited mindless rhetoric is what kept BJP out of power for 10 years(remember the ‘mundan- i will become sanyasin’ threat by Sushma Swaraj if Sonia were to be a PM).
    Sonias rejection threw the BJP off any genuine agenda for 10 years.

    Get well soon.. u speak the same retarded rhetoric, am not wondering abt what u said.. u are capable of much more trash talk than that..bravo!

    Nobody says Congress is 1% good.Tuff luck Indians have to choose between Murderes and Looters!

  23. savichevich

    I feel sorry for the constant threat which the religious folks like u live in, despite being so sure about ur brand of faith,..whats worse is u are worried about the safety of the faith itself.

    Try coming out of the whichever well you are in and take a peek at the world.

    BJP is trying hard to get atleast 50% of 80% vote that Hindus constitute, they will sure get there someday….. but not by crying hoarse over the 15% Minorities(13% Muslim, 2.5% Christians), they way is through getting rid of the great Indian exclusive phenomenon called Caste.

    Uninhibited mindless rhetoric is what kept BJP out of power for 10 years(remember the ‘mundan- i will become sanyasin’ threat by Sushma Swaraj if Sonia were to be a PM).
    Sonias rejection threw the BJP off any genuine agenda for 10 years.

    Get well soon.. u speak the same retarded rhetoric, am not wondering abt what u said.. u are capable of much more trash talk than that..bravo!

    Nobody says Congress is 1% good.Tuff luck Indians have to choose between Murderes and Looters!

  24. Sevic
    Try visiting some villages in Assam and west bengal. You will understand the Islamic threat well. And given that you claim some knowledge of history, it wont be hard for you.
    You will get it then.

    And I am visiting them after having a peek at the world.

    I think have missed either both or atleast one of them.

  25. Sevic,
    Sir, you are as far away from the reality as Rakesh Roshan is far from re-growing hair on his head.

    Considering your firm belief on the supposed right-wing activists being the core of all religious trouble, I’d suggest you to go through the below article to have a glimpse at the real picture.

    http://www.deccanherald.com/content/268569/a-ticking-time-bomb.html

    Offcourse, for every such article showing the mirror, we have counter opinions as these by the esteemed “seculars” who vehemently refuse to believe anything is wrong at all (the sole reason for things to have come to an irreparable juncture today):

    http://ibnlive.in.com/blogs/newsman/1/63780/assam-riot-victims-need-our-sensitivity-not-our-prejudice.html

    Oh and if I sound jingoistic just because I’ve read a few articles or watched a few youtube videos or have a facebook account, I’d like to clarify that I’ve been born and brought up in Assam and have been witness to the demographic changes in the last two decades. Trust me, it’s far more worse than you can fathom.

    Although I don’t agree to a lot of things you have written, this one cracked me up:
    “i havent seen one minority related propaganda while everyday i get 10 right wing shares”

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