India Uncut

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Indian court goes after Orkut

DNA reports:
The Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court has directed the Maharashtra government to issue notice to Google for alleged spread of hatred about India by its social network service 'Orkut'.

The order was issued by Justice A P Deshpande and Justice R M Borde yesterday in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by local Advocate Yugant R Marlapalle.

A picture of burning national tri-colour, bearing anti-india messsage, has been put on and a community 'We Hate India' has been created on the site, the
petition said. [Sics, etc.]
The petition wants the government to "appoint a 'controller' under the Information Technology Act-2000 to regulate all such communities being in operation on the internet."

Really, what silliness is this? Let me put a question to you: does anyone get harmed in any way if some jokers show a burning Indian flag? Does anyone get harmed in any way if a bunch of people who hate India get together to discuss it? Don't all of us have a right to hate what we want and talk about what we want without the government trying to regulate it?

I believe that if there something that has gone right for India, it is the freedom that it affords its citizens, relative to neighbours like Pakistan and China. And yet, it is nowhere near what it should be, especially when it comes to freedom of expression. We should be looking to enhance these individual freedoms instead of clamping down on them -- and we really should not feel so damn insecure about India's nationhood, or its 'image'. A bunch of people burning flags and ranting randomly can't harm anyone. But impinging on their freedom to do so harms all of us.

(Link via email from reader Ranjeet Adkar.)
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