Dear Kapil Sibal

I believe you would like to gag us on social networks. And I have no intention of criticizing you or getting on your bad side. After all, you are the almighty in power. Messing with you would only bring me grief. And who wants that, now? Eh?

So before I did anything stupid, I thought I’d check with you if I’m allowed to:

  • Comment on the government’s recent FDI plans. I think the government as a whole could be personified and therefore my comments about FDI could, by transitivity, be implied to be about an individual and get me into trouble. In you all-knowing legalese, please advise.
  • Comment on you recent stand about the proposed restrictions on social networks. After all, anything I say/write could be implied to be a direct comment on your almightiness. And I don’t, under any circumstances, want to incur your wrath, O Lordship.
  • Comment on cinema, media, advertising, etc. Although I work in the field of communication, I am no longer sure what would be deemed appropriate by your Big Brotherness and would not, like before, want to incur your wrath and force you to further clamp down post my insignificant rants.
  • Question Inquire with you about your thoughts for the protection of the individual on social media or through the media in general that is compelling you to gag the world so. Of course, I agree with your thoughts at all times for you are, of course, THE greatest legal mind in the country and have never uttered a word against anyone or ever been slanderous. Of course, being slanderous or libellous is not an option for a common man like myself for I do not possess your all-knowing legalese to defend myself. (Nor the money, but that’s besides the point here).

I request you to kindly enlighten me on the above. After all, I do see this as the future way we can publish our thoughts on public fora. You will need to approve all our thoughts.

I did have another point to laud your efforts, but please do not hesitate to chide me on my childishness if that is what the query seems like… Being in the public eye, the politician is subjected to criticism or ridicule across most democracies. They take it on the chin and the public feels like they have had their say. Of course, these democracies are run by Western idiots with no morals and whose public don’t need any saving. Thankfully we have you. After the scores of local moral police who have saved the country over the last few years, you sir, are a godsend to deliver us from the wallowing pit that is the social network. I must thank my luck to be alive in such free and revolutionary times.

May God (i.e., you) save India. Good luck, sir.

Voting as a ‘pick up’ activity!

Can’t imagine an ad like this being allowed in India. We’re unfortunately stuck looking at stuffy politicians’ mugs. Seriously, though, an ad like this could just get voting to beyond 50%. Unfortunately, I also don’t think that voting booths in India could be so empty or the voting booth attendants so cool!

You Swine!

That would be the normal retort if we knew which pig to blame for the flu. As cities start to panic and people start to believe anything they hear, the government is starting to make some knee-jerk decisions. Take Pune, for example, where the outbreak seems to be the worst.

As of Tuesday morning, Pune had reported 5 H1N1 deaths of the total 8 in India in addition to over 300 other confirmed cases. While this hasn’t come about overnight, it is a typically lazy response to what now seems like a pandemic.

So what one saw on the streets of Pune this morning was a Sunday-like but only eerie silence. There was a heaviness about and one could really gauge what was being thought. As everyone adorned the “bandit queen” look, the ridiculousness of the entire situation was overwhelming. Despite repeated reports that the masks are to be used for just a day and not all masks are useful, people continue to buy them en masse. A report claims that almost 250,000 were sold across the city on Monday! Good business!

The solutions by the powers that be? One of the first things that the authorities have done is stay away. Pune’s two ‘powerful and influential’ ministers — Suresh Kalmadi (Congress I) and Ajit Pawar (NCP) have been conspicuously absent. Except for Mr Kalmadi’s face on posters welcoming Digvijay Singh to Pune, the city hasn’t heard so much as a peep out of him. And Mr Pawar responded to a newspaper report about his absence by making some nonsensical statement. Ignore, please. Then, remotely, they have administered the shutdown to the city. For those who aren’t aware, all schools, colleges, malls and movie halls are to remain closed for 3-7 days starting Tuesday. When some people were asking for this action about a week ago, there was ridicule that we should not bow down to it. Continue reading “You Swine!”

Another block on blogs

What is this country coming to? After an initial block on blogs after 7/11, the Congress party (in power) has decided to flex its muscle and ban all Anti-Congress blogs and sites. The explanation states:

India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) passed an order to ISPs on July 14 to block blog sites, as they were said to be spreading anti-national message. The list of the websites to be blocked was confidential

Now. since when did Anti-Congress become Anti-National? Most sites that have been asked to be blocked talk negatively (or truthfully, if you will) about the Congress and its allies. Why are these bans never extended to the mainstream media? Why can newspapers write true stuff and survive? Ditto for TV Channels?

Or is that because blogs are new media, they are being experimented with? Something similar had happened recently in Pakistan and China… and we were sandwiched in the middle thinking, “Hm. Nice place, this India”. Well, wake up.

Two points come to mind:

1. Bloggers should be proud of what they do if the govt. needs to block them for it obviously means they are “in the public eye”.

2. The Bajrang Dal blogs? (Don’t bother, it’s blocked!)