GAGGING OF WEB SITES: DESIRABLE BUT DANGEROUS

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

To the Communists, the Central Government’s new method of bridling the ultra-right electronic media may seem desirable at the moment, but it is the most dangerous design against Communism.

In these pages I have earlier discussed how a section of electronic media, particularly the poppet TV channels were used to confuse voters during the general elections in order to ensure that the agents of the rich and the black-marketers and the hoarders and the profiteers benefit.

I dislike discussing the dark side of a dead man. But the way most of the TV channels ignored our right to news by relentless telecast only on Pramod Mahajan when he was receiving treatment in coma being fired down by his own brother and after he succumbed to that, as if there was no news in India excepting him, is a reminder to what extent they are capable of imposing their arbitrary preference on the general public.

Not a single TV channel has ever discussed on the extent of undisclosed properties of Mahajan.

During live telecasting of reactions of his younger brother it had transpired that his father was a man of modest income and he had not inherited any mentionable ancestral wealth. Then where from he could amass thousands of crores of Rupees, with so much immunity that his son could proudly assert that he spends 70 to 80 thousands of Rupees a day?

If the owners of the TV Channels could decide that Pramod Mahajan being a great leader of a great political party, they were duty bound to let people know every bit of his health condition, then they must also have known that on the same premise people have a right to know every details of the source of his huge wealth that ultimately made him a casualty.

As a politician Mahajan was a volunteer. Neither as a minister of short tenure nor as a parliamentarian his salary was big enough to be considered as the source of his massive wealth. So the wealth he accumulated must have come through other means which he never publicly professed.

The TV channels made him such a hero that people forgot that they have a right to be informed, if not by his family, by the central government, on who gave him the wealth and why and whether or not our motherland suffered any setback because of his shady deals.

Similar steps the TV channels took to overload public perception with sympathy for Pramod’s son when he was hospitalized senseless due to drinks and narcotic drugs.

A close watch on India’s mainstream TV Channels leads one to feel that their main aim is to brainwash the common citizens so that plutocracy can replace India’s democracy. In the transit, clever display of such of the programs takes place that communalists get projection as national heroes and religious revivalists as the nation’s conscience keepers.

It is note worthy that the Central Government has started looking into this aspect and is considering how to curb telecasting when national interest is in jeopardy.

It is equally note worthy that a group of ultra-right blog sites have been blocked by the service providers in response to intervention by the Central Government.

In the guise of freedom of expression freedom for anarchic expression cannot be countenanced. Therefore restriction is desirable.

But as a blogger myself, I am disturbed over the development.

If the class character of the bloggers whose sites have been blocked is compared with that of the people in power who have caused the blocking, both of them seem strikingly similar. I find no difference between Narendra Modi and Man Mohan Singh. If Modi wears a Tika on his forehead to show that he is a devout Hindu, Singh wears a Turban on his head to show that he is a devout Sikh. Are they different? Is there any difference between them in their readiness to stand with private industry and commerce? I find no difference. Therefore to me, blocking of blog sites of Modi genre by the Singh Government portends a greater danger to our democracy.

Blocking of sites like www.hinduunity.org or www.exposingtheleft.blogspot.com being pleasing to the communists, Singh will have the necessary political support to carve out a precedence of Governmental intervention in blogging. And once this precedence is established, any blog site at any point of time can be blocked.

Why Blog blocking?

Blog is a powerful medium of expression. Hence it is the latest weapon against capitalism. Agents of capitalism can use blog for their own nefarious purpose, no doubt. But thereby they can hoodwink the human community only for a small time, not for all times. Whatsoever be the volume of propaganda, capitalism cannot gain human heart. It has no philosophical strength. Therefore it cannot convince anybody in its support. So by publicizing its own version even through Blog, capitalism can never sustain itself. It thrives, never by media support, but by suppression of facts.

Print Media as well as Electronic Media in the Radio and TV sector were being used by Capitalism to suppress facts and opinions as a result of which collective wisdom of human community was never taking a concrete shape against it. But Blog has come as real challenge. The common man can express his mind unhindered through Blog. It is the instrument of real freedom of expression. And, hence it is the real threat to capitalism.

Hence Capitalism has picked up India where its high priest Man Mohan Singh is the Prime Minister, to conduct the first experimentation against Blog through blocking.

This being clear, action against ultra right TV channels and the blog sites working for capitalism, though desirable, the method and manner of blocking the blog sites cannot but be dangerous to democracy and progress.

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  1. Subhas babu.

    Really a nice article. I liked it . You have raised many important questions , which should be looked into properly by the blog blockers. There should be an uniform policy for all the media , I feel.

    Thanks for your free, frank and fearless opinion.

    Sincerely,
    Prasanta Patnaik,
    patnaikprasanta@gmail.com

  2. I fully agree. One of the most useful articles to have come out from contemporary journalism! As someone doing research on blogs, I find the following lines especially telling:

    Agents of capitalism can use blog for their own nefarious purpose, no doubt. But thereby they can hoodwink the human community only for a small time, not for all times. Whatsoever be the volume of propaganda, capitalism cannot gain human heart. It has no philosophical strength. Therefore it cannot convince anybody in its support. So by publicizing its own version even through Blog, capitalism can never sustain itself. It thrives, never by media support, but by suppression of facts.

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