Is India against Free Speech?


I think there is a certain lunacy going about in India where our politicians believe they have the right to curtail free speech in the name of “communal peace”. Last year, a movie was censored for having a banner stating “Free Tibet”. Kapil Sibal recently spoke of articles circulated on Facebook inciting communal violence. The Indian courts are asking over 20 internet companies including Google, Microsoft and others to block access to “objectionable content”. They’re being threated with blockage – so perhaps an Indian firewall to dwarf China’s will be built. Perhaps, we’ll even buy it from Turkey.

Google received 385 take down notices from India between June 2010- January 2011. Here are the details. So, of 385 requests, 255 are classified by Google as critical of the government.

Today, we find Rajasthan’s government or police may have presented false information to scuttle Salman Rushdie’s visit to the Jaipur Litfest. And now when the organizers are trying to arrange a video conference with the author, there appears government pressure against that, with possible threats of legal action against the conference and its organizers.

The Hindu has learnt that the Chief Minister would be willing to give permission if the organisers give an assurance that there would be no provocative questions asked, no exchanges with the public, no dialogue but a simple reading out of a statement.

source: The Hindu.

I wonder what the Indian version of SOPA/PIPA would look like.

A cool lark:

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