Bloggers freedom crushed

Blogging is an instant and uncensored written communication to the world by netizens. Anyone can write their feelings and mind anytime to the global audience. With a click of the mouse, all said is done. There is no denial of the fact that the Internet and blogs are being used to spread hatred, terror and violence. But at the same time, these socially divisive works in cyberspace get eliminated naturally. Many of the active internet users take few minutes to put an end to this menace by forwarding mails about the nuisance of these communities to their friends. In a matter of minutes the hate-speakers are out of cyberspace. In short, Internet is the ultimate celebration of individual freedom and self-regulation.

When cell phones got jammed, landlines stopped working, bloggers in Mumbai connected with their counterparts in United States to provide information about their near and dear ones safety. An immediate posting of those who lost their lives and were injured, were displayed on the blogs. Even they organized relief and rescue operations quite meticulously.

As per the orders of Department of Telecommunications, on 17 July, the Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPA) has blocked 17 websites. Generally the government keeps sending one or two anti-national sites for elimination every month. But after the Mumbai blasts with panic running high in the power corridors, twenty-two page lists of popular blog sites have been sent for blocking. Unofficially the ISP has blocked several blogging site including highly celebrated blogspot.com and geocities.com. Approximately around 25000 bloggers are in these communities. In India 40,000 active bloggers are keeping alive social issues. But the actual number of registered bloggers is double than the regular ones. Women are equally active in the blogsphere sharing information about software skills, technological advancements, academics, politics, and international scenario apart from new taste recipes, fashion exchanges.

Orkut, one of the most popular online communities is highly active in countering anti-India postings. One should get into this site to understand the level of patriotism among the Indians. For every anti-Indian community propagated by internal and external onliners, thousands of Indians give instant rebuff and eliminate these by reporting it as bogus. The reverberation of Jai Hind nullifies the noise of jai jehad.

Publishing an article in the traditional media is highly time consuming and increasingly impossible with the passage of time. After the arrival of internet writers are bombarding newspapers with articles from far and wide. It is impossible for the editors to accept all. Most of the media personnel do not even have the courtesy to spare few minutes to respond to the enthusiastic writers, leave alone printing an article piece. In this space crunch scenario, blogs have become very relevant. Some of the extremely articulate and useful postings in the blogs have attracted worldwide attention. Governments of advanced countries keep track of blogs for terrorist chatter. Some of the popular newspapers like Washington Post and New York Times have an eye on the relevant blogs to pick up newsworthy pieces. Many articles have been printed after they found the attention of correspondents reading blogs.

If our national security experts are thinking to put a full stop to the future terrorists activities and the spread of anti-India thoughts, banning the blogosphere is not a solution. Remember! We faced large-scale terrorists’ assaults before the resumption of bus service from Srinagar to Muzzarfabad. In 2001 Kashmir lost 4507 people. In 2006 after the successful run of bus services and citizen border crossings, the number of deaths has been half of the two nations wartime deaths. Some hawks opposed this people to people contact as a foolish security risk. But then the terrorists don’t come by bus or train. By increasing track-three diplomatic activities, violent feelings can be reduced in the future. The government of India should not allow itself to infringe this greatest asset of the nation. Our policy makers need utmost calmness to get the maximum peace mileage out of the goodwill initiatives. Just shouting against our neighbors is not going to change the situation. Military action is mutually destructive. The only option left out is to drive hard diplomatically and encourage socio-economic -cultural exchange.

It is a testing time for the government to act tough on the terrorists and restore public confidence on the state apparatus. Just getting nervous on this serious issue is not good for the country and citizens. As a celebrated democratic nation and home to swaraj as birthright, our policy makers should immediately withdraw this thought suppressive measure immediately in the blogosphere. More importantly we should have a system soon in place to differentiate between patriots and fifth columnists.

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