Wednesday, August 22, 2012

An Indian's Dilemma - It’s not censorship, it’s Censurers You should be scared of


In a recent spate of bans, feel yourself lucky if you get a casual or an unimportant SMS in India. Targeting online social media and limiting SMSes are the latest form of censorship solutions that the Indian government has stumbled upon to combat the homegrown fundamentalist Islamic terror threats. In addition, as usual Indian government is putting the blame on our irresponsible neighbor-cum-cousin Pakistan. Would these majors address the issue, or vice versa help the perpetrators or assist party at center to achieve its personal goals or congress would be successful in subduing one more Indian autumn.

The strategy seems to be successful, because ‘aam janta’ which was questioning the extent of corruptions and appeasement politics is wondering now either about the extent of ban on online social space or grappling with understanding and managing a censorship balanced status on social sites and number of SMSes, giving government space to avoid the real issues and behave as it has been doing recklessly. It is a curtailing freedom to speech, however one is wonder to what extend and its implications, as for first time masses had voice even against media. A free space to opine and take on biggest of stalwart of deceit.

Not denying the gravity of the situations in regards to security of Indian populations in current times from Pune serial blast, unannounced lathi charges, economic ratings coming down due to uncertain political climate, to Azad Maidan, threat SMSs and curfews in few cities are testimony to the fact that Indian Government has failed to provide basic necessities to the countrymen. It's obvious that urgent method was need to stop the SMS scare, but what about finding and nabbing culprits, and why online media censoring - our intelligent cabinet and bureaucracy could not find a better way than choosing to curtail the rights and freedom. However the reasoning and credibility of their short sighted and lame censorship should not be a surprise as just six months back Indians Cabinet Minister, Mr Kapil SIbal  had warned  of “stern action” against social media for not regulating articles which either ridiculed or criticized his government. His party’s moment awaited has come, the current event gave them an opportunity as the saying goes “One man’s misery is another man’s fortune”.
It seems Congress Government of India, rather than finding solution to the current issues has found an opportunity sought after by politicians across party lines to regulate the internet. One more new form of censorship used in India and constitutionalising unconstitutional measure without implementing emergency, like the banning books(tonnes of academic and perfect books have been banned in the country),  booking people under 153A and 295A of the Indian Penal Code (among other incidents, on feb 2009, the police booked Kumar and Anand Sinha, the editor and the publisher of The Statesman under section 295A reprinting an article from The Independent by its columnist Johann Hari - "Why should I respect oppressive religions?), lathi charging innocent masses protesting with Ramdev against corruption, waiting endlessly to Anna’s campaign to die down then implement anti-graft law, etc.

Have we lost the bare minimum freedom and democracy we fortunately got online? Would the censorship rightly used? The freedom which was even from press seems to have whisked away. It’s not the current capping of SMSes that hurts by it’s the authority behind it and history of misuse of the responsibilities placed by constitution on Parties ruling the center giving goose bumps. Especially track record of appeasement politics, it feels evident now anyone who is pointing the finger at the perpetrator of crime can also be censored without even a whisper been heard. Under the pretext of clearing the spam hate messages and morphed pictures which Indian Government could have dealt within the preview of currents laws, the recent demonizing of online services can serve their ulterior and unintelligent motives. As soon as news of hate SMSes campaign and fake online pictures spread across, the censors, Indian Politicians, started blaming social media sites, some even went to extent of suggesting temporary banning.

Don’t trust Censurers: Indian Politicians Banning and Censoring Communication: Reasons people at large and track to understand that if the government intention is well place or ill placed:
The real issue which is still largely ignored was illegal international immigration in India, and its implications and complication arising from it, resulting in riots Assam, followed by protest on 11 Aug 2012 by Indian Muslims (organized by Raza Academy, with permitted 1500 crowd, however estimated conservatively 15-20,000, by some claim 30000) at Azad Maidan, Mumbai in support of illegal immigrants  ensuing flatouts of it - hate speeches by Islamic Extremists resulting in inciting hate and anger therefore  vandalism and harassment(2 people died, 12 female police man molested,  3 media vans burnt, amar jyoti vandalized, stolen two police self-loading rifles (SLR) and one revolver, etc. followed by chain of SMSes spreading fear not only in Assamese.

This is after Supreme Court, as early as 2005, three-judge Bench comprising Chief Justice R.C. Lahoti, Justice G.P. Mathur and Justice P.K. Balasubramanyan, said "The presence of such a large number of illegal migrants from Bangladesh, which runs into millions, is in fact an aggression on the State of Assam and has also contributed significantly in causing serious internal disturbances in the shape of insurgency of alarming proportions." Supreme Court struck down the IMDT Act (Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunals) Act, 1983) as unconstitutional which government has claimed as hurdle in deporting illegal immigrants. This proves as ever human rights standards in addition to illegal immigration the practice was also causing human right violation as rights, land and life of Assamese were disturbed. Its more than unclear seems gloomy that what was stopping government to seal the border even after 65 years of independent India. According to “REPORT ON ILLEGAL MIGRATION INTO ASSAM” submitted to  K R Narayanan then  “THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA” by Lt Gen (Retd) S K Sinha, PVSM then “THE GOVERNOR OF ASSAM “ on “8 November, 1998”, Bangladesh was doing nothing to prevent immigration and  their then Prime Minister Sheikh Haseena had even exclaimed that there was no illegal Bangladeshi living in India.

Now that all the government actions are doing is concealing the real issue, and stopping the news to spread.  That’s all government want to do to fix the issue and sweep under the carpet, at the maximum would punish few rogue elements  who involved in the recent incident which raise eyebrows in sleeping India janta to pacify the issue and satisfy the voters. What about the real issue? What about illegal immigration and immigrants? It is due to illegal immigration estimated by Election Commission out of 27 districts of Assam 11 have a Bengali Muslim majority, even though according to old and conservative GOI census  of 2001 there were 3,084,826 Bangladeshis in India, number which have grown multiple times according to intelligence reports 5000 to 6000 Bangladeshi enter India daily. T. V. Rajeswar, former Governor of West Bengal and Sikkim, quote in Tribune sometime back that there are at least 16 million Bangladeshis in India. Some estimates even claimed them to be more than 2 crores.

Normally expected reply from Congress government – India’s has international boundary issues with Bangladesh, it is not government supposed to sort them out in last 65 years, it has behave recklessly and only sufferers have been native inhabitants of India. The current issue has grown to an extend that in addition to adding to cheap labor, population and poverty in India; violating human rights of people  where illegal immigration have illegally occupied land of locals and disturbed cultural ethos. It has grown to lethal proportions, ignited growth of homegrown terror and terrorist the country. Introduced emergency like situation for all the citizens living country, curtailing communication it first  affected daily ration of SMSes, Online freedom etc. It is by basic definition is “governmental declaration that may suspend some normal functions of the executive, legislative and judicial powers, alert citizens to change their normal behaviors”. It gives reasons to suspending rights and freedoms, in modern technological worlds rights to speak free are as important as decades back it was to write in newspaper. Indian government has successfully implemented the step one that too  for unclear and undefined motives with no major outcry from media, and has astonishingly convinced masses so well of its propaganda that  they are not even releasing their freedom has been taken away for no use rather may be misused.

Or was it because for Congress Government, learning few tips from Arab Spring and has been able to successfully avoid Indian Autumn, as Indian who were very active online for first time, would be afraid to speak online about anything against Congress Government and its appeasement politics or even against the issue and its perpetrators. Finishing off the current topic with these dangerous opportunities unethical and biased censurers,  threat freedom of speech of north-easter, ethnic minority and north easter hindu / christian human rights groups/ individuals raising their voices against illegal occupation and terror would be unimaginable.

3 comments:

shwetank said...

Ravindra i appreciate that u have shown ur concern over this isssue and also this issue is a cause of concern from such a longer time. it is not restricted to Assam but its spreaded over in almost all the states of our country. We are living in a country where 70% population is living below poverty line and we dont have means to feed them all but because of this so called vote bank policy Governmnets are allowing them to stay here pleasently. The incident of mumbai, bangalore and hyderabad are best exaples in todays date. The moot quetion herein today is how to curb it as the capital of our country is also not untouched by this. If you can come up with any solution with that then it will be good for us. As a citizen of our country we are also responsible to maintain its dignity and we can start a forum for that as well . The Assamese people are citizen of out country too then why should they leave other states and go back to Assam.

ravindra vikram Singh said...

Shwetank ji you are right - the problem is wide spread and it needs to be tackled ... however with kind of seriousness governments is handling stuff, all of us have doubt ... its time Indian should also have Renaissance freedom movement ..Indian August....

Dilip Sharma said...

Very nice... i appreciate it...

n we all can understand how serious the government is when it decided to provide mobile phones to the people under poverty line, rather than providing them a fixed food arrangement.

Ravindra Vikram Singh रवींद्र विक्रम सिंह ரவீந்திர விக்ரம் சிங் રવીન્દ્ર વિક્રમ સિંહ రవీంద్ర విక్రమ్ సింగ్ রবীন্দ্র বিক্রম সিং ರವೀಂದ್ರ ವಿಕ್ರಮ್ ಸಿಂಗ್