A hecter-pecter note on internet censorship in India

28 05 2012

Let me start with a narrative. As a child born in the 80’s, the biggest impression for a message from television was a two liner that used to appear in Doordarshan- “the greatness of this man was his simplicity… let us discover the Gandhi in ourselves”…

It was like the picture of an elephant behind a not-so-tall wall- just a curved line. Two strokes, one for a skull and one for the side view of a spectacle. So simple was Gandhi; in his dress and in many of the ‘ideas’ he delivered.

Long years after going through the phrase, after reading his ideals and that of his critics; after  comparing him vis-a-vis Bhagat Singh, Jinnah, Bose, Ambedkar and many more, the big idealised image did go down. Yet, the simplicity of the message DD made remains: there is no shortcut to expressing one’s voice against tyranny, but to do it.  A few strokes is all it takes to un-build an empire!

I used to think about it when the English professor once shouted that the greatness of this man (Gandhi) lies in giving a ‘firm spine’ to us. Debatable are both; i.e. it was Gandhi who actually made us any worthy of “spine” or that we (Indians) have actually come to a level to claim a democracy any more than voting in every 5 five years and a bit more than that….. But for the little we have gained, and for the little we built with it, should the simplicity of this message be lost? A message that it takes only a few sketches, strokes or words to define a world of ideas…. that it is so simple! The simplicity was not just about Gandhi, but the narrative he, among many other people, gave about the idea of freedom. But why is it so hard to imagine nowadays for the powers-that-be?

As a nation, as people, we would discuss, debate and quarrel. We might like or dislike people and ideas from this “free” world. We would and should point fingers at each other in the sense of righteousness or moral angst. For a very few, it could even be slander, pun and just-for-a-laugh. But the simplest of the rules that should  remain is that, this is the freedom our predecessors fought and won for us and generations to come. You cannot take down us ….. We will not surrender in front of any ‘insolent might’. And we shouldn’t, so long as the idea of India remains.

HEY CENSORSHIP RULES- FOR INTERNET OR OTHERWISE- YOU DO NOT BELONG HERE. FOR THIS IS NOT WHY THIS NATION GAINED POLITICAL FREEDOM. QUIT INDIA!

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One response

20 04 2013
Ollie

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day.

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