Dear Rahul Gee,
I know that you don’t have a twitter account – at least not a public one. And I also know that you are extremely busy with the UP campaign right now. But despite you preoccupation, do take out the time to go through some of the tweets doing the rounds since Sibbal Gee performed his latest foot in mouth procedure. Just search for #IdiotKapilSibbal – top trending topic of the day.
The tweeple are a cynical lot, but generally the collective cynicism is not without substance. The general belief is that Sibbal Gee’s misplaced attempts at becoming a cyber Goebbels arises more from sycophantic reactions to you and Mummy Gee being talked ill of in cyberspace. Not to mention the bad cyberpress he himself has been getting. And to use the crutch of ‘religious sentiments’ for this is so transparent that it is laughable.
Rahul Gee, being a progressive leader of the 21st Century, do you want to be associated with this hare brained scheme of trying to censor the Internet? If not, why don’t you try and talk some sense into Sibbal Gee? Your word might succeed where other voices of reason seemed to have failed. In fact, I think coming from you he will agree in any case.
Please do explain to him that even if it was practically possible for the Internet companies, or the government, to monitor and censor the huge volume of user generated content on social media sites (and impertinent blogs like this one) – to order and enforce such a move in 2011would be seen as a step surpassing the excesses of the Emergency in 1975. And, as the online reaction today has amply demonstrated, it would be futile – nay, counterproductive.
I do agree that cyberspace provides the freedom to even those not responsible enough to handle it. And there is no dearth of those who abuse this freedom to slander, spew venom and generally make a nuisance of themselves. But the beauty of the system is that these elements get taken care of by equally lumpen ones with opposing views, without right minded people having to concern themselves or lose sleep over it. To give undue attention to such people is playing right into their hands. And that is what Sibbal Gee seems to be doing. Do you have any idea how many people would have searched for the very content that he is trying to proscribe when this news broke. Obscure pages and blogs which would have died a natural death unheeded have been pushed into prominence.
So, please tell Sibbal Gee that it is futile to try and dam a stream with his fingers. At best he will end up with very swollen digits.