Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Blogging and censorship in India.

I read somewhere that Blogging has become so addictive among the netizens, that around 550 million readers go through close to 200 million blogs. More than the numbers what is striking here is an establishment of a global environment which encourages free speech. India, too, has her share of bloggers on the net. The number of blogs , as reported by directory sites,is around 20000 upwards. Some statistics reveal that more than 90% of Indian blogs are in English.
Free speech flowing out of freedom of thought is not necessarily objectionable only in authoritarian societies as in China (which incidentally dominates the blogosphere with 73 million bloggers). 'Free speech' has its critics in India too. The sword of censorship can fall upon a hapless blogger in two ways.
Firstly, the Government can block group of websites through Department of Telecommunications (DoT) as it did here in July'2006. This is a formal way and has the support of an act passed in the parliament. Second is a more informal way where an individual blogger can be threatened with legal action to apologise for his free speech. This is an interesting story about a media personality who while straining her vocal chord about free speech could not accept the same about herself. The fracas resulted in an informal censorship where the blogger had to withdraw the post and post a detailed apology for all to see. The blogger community reacted quite spontaneously. Read the complete story & discussion here ; regular updates over here and a threat from a richie-rich broker-blogger to buy over the media house here.
Fortunately, the Internet also works in ways that can work around such bans. These are some of the common ways.
On the first anniversary of my blog, here's wishing longevity to blogging and blog lovers all around the world.
Photo Source:The Blogger Cafeteria

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