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- @SanghParivar – Affiliated with RSS
- @ShivAroor – A journalist with NDTV and very critical of government
- @KanchanGupta – Senior journalist associated with The Pioneer and very critical of the government
- @barbarindian – Anti government and self-proclaimed staunch hindu
- @scamsutra – Very critical of the corruption prevalent in the government
- @redditindia – The handle of reddit India group
- @i_panchajanya – New weekly by RSS
All these twitter handles have been of Right wing persons, organization but not all of them have been hindu fundamentalists. So what does the government want to achieve by blocking them? Can the government prove that their tweets fell within the blanket of free speech granted to an Indian citizen by the Constitution of the Indian Republic?
Interestingly, the government has also sought the blocking of some search terms and hashtags about the Assam and Burma violence.
The blocking of hate posts and rumor mongering videos on You Tube is understandable, but censuring genuine news articles from reputed websites is baffling.
What exactly were the DoT Babus thinking when they sought the blocking of the articles and search terms? Did their Ostrich mindset made them believe that what is not seen doesn’t happen? Do they want to wipe out the Assam riots from public mindset and then claim it never happened? How is a search on Assam riots on Twitter or a Twitter user slamming the government for what it is – corrupt, spineless and having dubious intentions, a threat to the nation’s security ? Mr. Subodh Saxena and his political masters may have a lot to explain on this.
Unfortunately, it seems we have a regime which is increasingly frustrated at its own impotence and intolerant of the discontent among the masses. That is why we have haughty Union Ministers shamelessly defending the censorship. If they feel they can subdue the voices against them in this manner, they are making a terrible mistake. This knee jerk action of the government reminds me of a couple of lines from Dinkar:
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Legality of the Blocks
An important question which may arise now will be the legal legimitacy of these blocks. The IT law of 2011 Rule 69A states that the government needs to give a 48 hours notice to the companies before blocking their content. Only in case of an Emergency can the government block first and notify later. However, the companies deny that any sort of notice was given to them before hand. So is the government under the impression that India is under Emergency ?
Following these blocks, there has been a lot of hue and cry on cyberspace with some even claiming that this government is trying to force an emergency like 1975. With due respect to such concern I would like to differ, this government cannot impose emergency for one very simple reason which I have already mentioned above – It simply does NOT have the spine to do so.
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