Now You See It, Now You Don’t

China is censoring everything in sight. Pretty soon, your thoughts could also be censored if you are in China! But the recent ban of certain sites and types of sites by Google (at the behest of the Govt) is a serious attack on the right to freedom. But then, that’s the fabric of the country.

To be fair, even in India, where is the total freedom? Something as trivial as Valentine’s Day is (has been since 2003) under the scanner by local organistions of national stature (yes, I mean that) to “protect” the cultural ethos of the country. What about when these very people are found drinking in the night and creating violence? Isn’t non-violence the call from India? Isn’t what they are doing against democracy? Ironically, democracy is the tool they use when they want to disallow anything democratic. Belive me, it is as cryptic as it sounds. Can’t these groups do anything constructive?

From what I cannot see on TV to what I cannot handle in books and magazines… everything is spellt out for me. Am I really that stupid? And these (or their ilk) are the ones who go about bashing educational institutions like the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute because someone called James Laine wrote something about Shivaji. Would it not be better to prove it wrong than to demolish a heritage building? What did that prove? That we are still a bunch of babboons? No. because, as Manu Bhagavan says, most of the people who have acted against this have not read the book. Maybe because they cannot? Perhaps. In fact, this has gone to the extent that an arrest warrant has been issued against him.

While these incidents may be dismissed as stray and the best way to deal with them would perhaps be said to be ignoring them, it hardly serves as a solution. Do I have to think everytime I want to say or do something? And now that the last standing bastion of total freedom – the Internet – is also being attacked, where does one go?

In many ways, India and China are more alike than apart. Unfortunately, these are not the good ways.

Can I write this openly any more? Can I criticise anyone or anything? Will I suffer for voicing my opinions?

Hope not.

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