lalita larking

An obsession with cryptic crosswords. Everything else falls in place.

Location: Kolkata, India

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I protest

If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all. Noam Chomsky

Warning: I am a terrorist.

It may seem I am a harmless housewife whiling her hours away writing online but this is actually a way to pass coded messages and recruit converts to my cause. Each post is a message to my brethren, to coordinate an attack on another metropolis and wreak havoc.

When I hold forth about Scrabble or cryptic crosswords and give examples, they are cleverly disguised messages to my comrades about where to pick up that RDX. When I write a poem of longing and loneliness, it's actually my swan song before I go off to be a suicide bomber.

Blast, the government is on to my clever ploy now.

When Desipundit and gilli linked to bloggers reporting that the domain was being blocked by some Internet Service Providers, on government directives, I was disturbed. Are we still in India, I wondered?

When the reports escalated that several ISPs had blocked what is a hugely popular blogging service and were denying access to blogspot blogs, but I could still access them, I thought that perhaps my own ISP was ignoring the government orders and rejoiced.

Whatever our shortcomings as a democracy, whatever the ineptitude of our services and government, we always had the right to discuss them at least, I thought.

This afternoon I found that I couldn't access blogspot blogs either.

There is a way, via But why should I have to do that? How can Government of India decide for me what I can read online and what I can't? This block is taking away what is enshrined in our constitution, my right to free speech, and my right to information.

I protest. Let's think a little on what Voltaire said: I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.



Blogger db said...

Good post eye-opener .. I wasn't aware of this "Blogger Block" ...

Its the ugly head of bureaucracy attempting to suppress the voices of the proletariat. In America, George W. Bush and his cohorts advert to it as establishing a "New World Order" ... Now India too seems to be on its way there ..

India lacked a George W. Bush, but if things continue on this trend, the day isn't far off when India becomes a part of the New world order ..

Voltaire also said, "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him." .. I modify that statement - "If Satan did not exist, it would be necessary to create him" .. We're on the way to creating a Satan ..

6:43 pm  
Blogger Rimi said...

Seconding it all. If this becomes a blanket ban, they'll be hell to pay.

9:29 pm  
Anonymous badari narayanan said...

Every successive Congress government tries valiantly to out-do the previous one in stupidity. Have not come across a single, I repeat a single constructive thing that this man-mohan has done for this country.

9:15 am  
Blogger Priya said...

Expect the sweets soon;) (Go figure!)

11:43 am  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Ram- Spread this news, this is a serious matter.

Freedom of the press: The right to say anything you want to in print if you have the money to buy the press, paper and the news service.

While it is a flippant definition, it would be a travesty if it became true.

Rimi- Write about this.

Badari- It is ignorance and hopeless underestimation of the power of the Internet if they think they can block anything for long.

Priya- *rolls eyes and sighs* Yeah.

12:18 pm  
Anonymous priya said...

there's another way, using

1:53 pm  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Priya- Neat. Thanks, I got a forbidden access message on pkblogs just now. What's with our DoT? The silence from the Government is deafening.

2:44 pm  
Blogger Rohan said...

If it wasnt so ridiculous it would be funny! How can a governmebt be so stupid!

3:50 pm  
Blogger GhostOfTomJoad said...

Hell, wish you hadn't given out the secret about the next landing of the banned substance!

Besides pkblogs, there is too.

5:30 pm  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Rohan- You are right. It just goes to show how clueless our DoT is about how Internet works. You can always get around a block. And the news will spread.

Welcome back. Nice to have you commenting again.

Ghost- Oops! I humbly apologise, and will volunteer for the next suicide mission, to atone for this lapse. :D

Welcome, and keep dropping by.

6:13 pm  
Blogger Speech is Golden said...

this is so hilarious that i can't even think of something intelligent to say abt it. blogger is blocked b'coz of concerns of national security. are they trying to top bush in their stupidity? i mean if they r gonna try, they just might.

my guess is someone in NSA said "I am gonna blog this" and the person in DoT heard it as "I am gonna block this" and issued orders.

6:50 pm  
Anonymous Ash said...

I didn't think you were an activist but this is a good post, Lali.

Took me a while to tweak things so I could access blogs, I am annoyed that I have to do it all.

8:05 pm  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Ram- please forgive any typos, I'm not even sure I can post a comment, inblogs is okay, but comment doesn't seem to be free.

You aren't affected by this, so maybe you can see the funny part of the story. We are too close and affected by it for me to blithely say anything

11:55 pm  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Ash- May I remind you about my grouse about soiled or mutilated currency?

Yhanks for accessing my blog inspite of the block. Got any tips to share?

12:00 am  
Anonymous priya said...

i dont get the point. it is causing nothing except a mild inconvenience.

11:27 am  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Priya- Exactly. It is a pointless exercise. And the block seems to have been lifted. I am writing this on blogspot.

I guess protests pay. :D

12:23 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here are some links that I believe will be interested

8:56 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm I love the idea behind this website, very unique.

10:47 pm  

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