The Indian Government in the aftermath of the Mumbai Bombings on July 11th, 2006 sent a circular dated July 13th to the nearly 150 Internet Service Providers(ISPs) in India asking them to ban 20 websites/blogs. The ISPs of India for all the talk of India’s IT prowess did not seem to possess the requisite technology to block only the sub-domains and “mistakenly” blocked the entire domains like Blogspot.com, Typepad.com and Geocities.com. A lot many Indian bloggers and netizens have their blogs on these sites and they found their own blogs inaccessible. The enraged Indian blogger community got together and formed the Bloggers Collective and opposed this move tooth and nail.The issue snowballed into a huge controversy and was widely reported by the mainstream media across the world.
The reason dished out by the government for this move was that the free anonymous services being provided by these websites were being misused by the terrorists to communicate among themselves and co-ordinate attacks and the sites were blocked only temporarily for about 48 hours to track these elements. The Indian Bloggers sceptical of these ham-handed explanations filed a Right To Information application and obtained the list that was circulated to the ISPs.
What was revealed was quite astounding, although knowing the DNA of this leftist government, was not very surprising.Here is the link to the photocopy of the circular and the complete list of the banned sites.
The list has atleast 5 dead URLs and one Japanese language blog. The list has ONLY ONE leftwing website (wink, wink, nudge, nudge;) ) Dalitstan.org which specialises in conspiracy theories and other back to front reasoning and mindless rants usually associated with radical left-wingers. The list even has some misspelled URLs which means that the actual sites like imamali.com, merrimusings and commonfolkscommonsense are still accessible. This does not exactly raise our confidence in the cold-blooded efficiency of our Government ;).
Besides these every one of the remaining sites are either American or Indian Right wing. Certainly not the type where u will find Osama bin laden and General/President Pervez Musharraf or their foot soldiers exchanging love notes to each other. Especially since they can very well meet for a sumptuous meal in the presidential palace of Islamabad.
The Indian sites like Hinduunity.org and Hinduhumanrights.org are radical right wing websites which mince no words in criticising the present Congress and its UPA coalition Government. No wonder they got onto the list since we all know by experience that the Left-wing Governments hate criticism. But how did the American conservative sites, nearly 7 of them get in there? there is absolutely no answer.
Though there are lot of theories swirling around.One of them suggests that they carried some anti-islamic articles. But then there are many other sites which are doing that in a much more prominent manner and they did not get onto the hitlist. Plus most of us had never heard of these seven american sites till we saw that list. This is also confirmed by the owners of those blogs and sites themselves. They say that they are seeing some Indian traffic only now!!
One more unintended but positive consequence of this piece of paper has been the Indian Right and the American Right finding each other and realising that they both share common interests and that neither of them are the monsters that the leftist, liberal media potrays them to be. The American conservatives are not dumb, racist and uneducated cowboy types. The Indians are not militant Hindu fascists. Both are actually very educated, intelligent and are successful in life. Both love their own countries and their freedoms and feel the threats to their way of life coming from the same potholed sources -islamist terrorism and the morally corrupt and decadent left.
Also Published on Blogcritics