Tuesday, June 09, 2009

A law to censor expression

I feel bad about an upcoming law. A few of my thoughts related to the law are given below:
  • I do not believe opinion/art/literature can hurt anybody by itself. People get hurt by their own choice. Hypocrites choose to see/read a picture/book, take offense at their own choice and then blame the picture/book. This law legalizes the nuisance that mischievous hypocrites create. You may refer to previous articles in this blog for specific instances of such mischiefs that happened in India. (Mischief is a soft word. May be I should use unethical, diabolical, evil)
  • Bloggers may feel the brunt of this law. There is no security in numbers for a blogger. All it takes for any mischief-maker is to make an example of one blogger to silence a large chunk. Bloggers, without time/money at their disposal, will have to restrict themselves to humour pieces or non controversial eulogies.
  • Main stream media(MSM) may not come to rescue as it does not make business sense. I have stopped watching television-news for past 9 years. The behaviour came naturally. I did not like the raised-tone of the anchors, the adbreaks and few other things. It is not that I have become disinterested in current affairs; reality is far from it. I moved to blogs where I am much more in control in reading/commenting/writing-my-own-stuff. There are many people like me. Now, due to the law, I will not be able to vent my feelings nor read others. The only option will be to go back to MSM.
  • Chetan Kunte(blogger) vs NDTV has shown the ethical limits of MSMs. I am more disturbed by the deliberate silence of all the MSM-channels rather than the 'apology' itself. I believe a financial stakeholder in MSM stands to gain with this law.
  • This law is not the biggest problem facing India. There are more important and pressing issues. However, this law must be opposed. It can sow the seeds of something much more sinister.
  • On second thoughts, internet portals of MSM might face a drop in activity. I visit controversial news on rediff to read the talkbacks rather than main article. This law may impose a severe cutback on interesting talkback. So the hit-count of web-only-MSM might be impacted. I hope this may bring some of the MSMs to oppose the law.

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