Atanu Dey On India's Development

“This Page Intentionally Left Blank by the Government of India”"

| 30 Comments

I don’t know what zone-h.org is. Someone pointed me to the site saying that he could not access it from India and believes that the government of India has banned it. He said that he has “heard (from a reliable source) a rumour that the Government of India has a fairly regular habit of issuing fiats to ISPs to block various websites that it feels are objectionable for some reason.”

When I try to access the site, I get a blank screen. It does not say, “This page intentionally left blank.” I guess the govt of India should have the decency to put the notice “This page intentionally left blank by the government of India.

Then, contradicting itself, it should further explain why.

“You, Indian citizen, are a serf. You are an ignorant serf. You are not capable of handling some information. You are not discerning. You are easily misled. We, your government, are your rulers. We decide what is good for you. We tell you what to think, what to read, what to write, what to listen to on the radio.

“You are a serf. We dictate and you listen. We go around in cars with rotating red flashing lights on top. We are your masters and we get the police to clear the roads when we pass. You dutifully wait till our motorcade has sped through the cleared roads.

“You are slaves that obey without questioning. You are free to do what we order you to do. We want you to only access sites that we permit and you read only at our pleasure.

“You are a serf. You know your place. Now stay there and don’t make a fuss. Or we will send our running dogs after you and put you away.

“We are your masters. Obey or prepare to be imprisoned.”

I used to wonder how small marauding bands of barbarians ruled India for centuries, or how a few thousand people from a tiny island in the Atlantic ruled for nearly a hundred years a population of hundreds of millions.

Now I wonder no more. I think there is something in the Indian psyche that make Indians very easy to rule. The foreign rulers have been (to a large extent) replaced by domestic ones. There aren’t all that many rulers relative to the population.

All told, if you consider the members of the various state and central legislative bodies, the bureaucrats in the various ministries, the police and judiciary — all told it cannot amount to more than a few hundred thousand people. But like their foreign counterparts before 1947, these rule over hundreds of millions.

The poor sods — nearly 1,200,000,000, or one thousand two hundred million — cowering spineless sods dutifully obey the diktats of the rulers.

If this had been a population with any spine, any dignity, or honor, they would have dragged the criminals ruling over them on to the streets and strung them up from the lamp posts.

All the poor sods have to do is to drag half a dozen of the most corrupt politicians and judges and lynch them. The other few hundred thousands would get into line. They will know that it is they who are the servants and the people are the rulers.

Once I had heard an IAS officer say that if the people of India only knew how much damage the administrative services do to India, the people of India would thrash every government bureaucrat. I told the man that that this has not happened yet should tell us that Indians are incapable of fighting for their rights.

There was no freedom struggle. The British were tired of administering a country that had become so poor that there was nothing left to steal. Colonialism was becoming unpopular. Besides the British had trained their replacement — Mr Nehru — and were confident that he would do as they dictated. Mr Nehru was happy to be the boss and rule.

Indians did not have a freedom struggle. The British left without a fight because India was just not worth it any more.

The new rulers found it very convenient to claim that they were the ones that threw out the British. That message was relentlessly broadcast, put in school books, the education system was controlled, and generations of brainwashed Indians believed in this nonsense.

The real freedom that India needs is the freedom from the brain washing that they have had for the last 60-odd years.

The Indians did not have to fight the British because the British wanted to leave of their own accord. But these present day brown-sahibs are not in a hurry to leave. They will not leave without a fight. And the Indian people are not willing to fight.

So let’s all settle down to many generations of slavery. The children who are growing up today, born into slavery, will give birth to slaves.

Welcome to the slave state of India.

  • http://hoopyfrood.org hoopyfrood

    Atanu, I concur. Reading this post reinforces my notion that I’m very fortunate to have escaped to a non-slave state, on the modern equivalent of the underground railroad, the F1 student visa. There’s a lot of people that India will not allow to thrive and prosper. It’s not a society that allows for freethinking.

  • http://siddhya.blogspot.com siddhya

    agreed. as a people we don’t care much as to who rules us, as long as our day to day needs are modestly satisfied. it might have something to do with the ‘no questions asked’ caste system we followed for centuries. it will take some undoing :)

    @stupid bureaucracy: my experience here: http://siddhya.blogspot.com/2009/10/i-am-superior-p.html (some part is in marathi)

    btw. you can use any internet proxy to view that site. when there is an obstacle there is generally a way around it :P

  • http://iwillbelikethis.blogspot.com Praveen

    The britishers neither left the country as there is nothing more to loot nor our nehru clan kicked them out of the country. The Second world war is fought on a (likely) concept of Communism vs Democracy. During the war times itself many voices were risen that when Britain is fighting on behalf of democracy then why is it not granting Democracy to nations under its rule which are asking for it for a long time. After the war the Britain (&other European Countries) were so destroyed that they can’t further manage these countries and it is not fair for them still stay in these(colonial) countries surpassing them democratic rights. So they just LEFT. That is why many colonial countries including INDIA got independence around 1945.

  • http://akshar100.wordpress.com Akshar

    The site is about hacking.

  • http://akshar100.wordpress.com Akshar

    I think the babus in government are slow and clueless about how the banning business can be carried out effectively just the way they are clueless about security, education and economy. Otherwise I am sure even deeshaa.org would have got banned long back.

  • http://jagritminocha.blogspot.com Jagrit

    Well Said Good Sir!

    That would be the British exclamation after reading this one. Well thought out, amazing post.

  • http://aspershyam.wordpress.com/ shyam

    Individually, we are not slaves. but collectively, yes.

  • Pushkar

    How very true!

  • Vivek

    When I posted this on Google Buzz, my friend responded with this:

    PAVAN KUMAR O – sharma.. i read the article…

    it is about some company ‘e2labs’ owned by some stupid named ‘Zaki Querashi’ who boasts of doing some crypto and encryption training. it seems he hacked(by luring jobless hackers) into some of india’s critical servers and sold the info back to govt. stressing the need for e2labs support in encryption technologies

    PAVAN KUMAR O – here is his photo — http://www.reachouthyderabad.com/newsmaker/nm104.htm

    Any comments?

  • Vivek

    IMHO, it would be better for Govt of India to mention that this site had been blocked for so and so reason and give links to the people who should be contacted for more info.

    Just blocking for some reason is outright wrong

  • Vivek

    When I posted a link to this post on Google Buzz, heres what one of my friends had to say

    sharma.. i read the article…

    it is about some company ‘e2labs’ owned by some stupid named ‘Zaki Querashi’ who boasts of doing some crypto and encryption training. it seems he hacked(by luring jobless hackers) into some of india’s critical servers and sold the info back to govt. stressing the need for e2labs support in encryption technologies

    PAVAN KUMAR O – here is his photo — http://www.reachouthyderabad.com/newsmaker/nm104.htm

    Any comments?

  • Vivek

    sharma.. i read the article…

    it is about some company ‘e2labs’ owned by some stupid named ‘Zaki Querashi’ who boasts of doing some crypto and encryption training. it seems he hacked(by luring jobless hackers) into some of india’s critical servers and sold the info back to govt. stressing the need for e2labs support in encryption technologies

    PAVAN KUMAR O – here is his photo — http://www.reachouthyderabad.co/newsmaker/nm104.htm

  • Vivek

    Sorry for posting my comment again …..

    This was what my frnd had to say when I posted a link to this post on Google Buzz

    sharma.. i read the article…

    it is about some company ‘e2labs’ owned by some stupid named ‘Zaki Querashi’ who boasts of doing some crypto and encryption training. it seems he hacked(by luring jobless hackers) into some of india’s critical servers and sold the info back to govt. stressing the need for e2labs support in encryption technologies

    PAVAN KUMAR O – here is his photo — http://www.reachouthyderabad.co/newsmaker/nm104.htm

  • Ash

    My my… You are the best! I mean … WOw! Left me speachless

  • http://www.leonardrojas.com/ Leonard

    Akshar is right, the site appears to be an archive of defaced websites and so-called “news” of questionable utility/validity. You’re not missing anything (with the possible exception of some computer malware infestation), but your broader point is essentially correct — that should be your decision to make and your risk to take.

    However, is this necessarily a matter of government interference, rather than the ISP itself deciding that sites which supply malware and hacking information should be locked out of their networks for security reasons? I have never heard that India has its own version of China’s “Great Firewall.”

    The ISPs have made no small investment in equipment, and malware infestation = loss of function = loss of productivity = loss of money, which will result in a company’s free-market decision to protect its expensive assets (and its profit margin). US service providers are known to do the same thing, or they don’t offer access to certain uncommonly-used Internet ports.

    Right in the first paragraph, you admit that this is second- or third-hand hearsay at best: someone told me that he thinks this rumor that he heard from someone else is true. I think you might be crying wolf on this one.

  • Chandra

    Sometime back one guy said something against the holy reverend mother Sonia Gandhi and he was promptly arrested. Maybe the zone-h.org site had some dirt on a “bada babu”.

  • sujith

    The sites IP is http://87.98.168.239/ ( Try pinging that website and you’ll get the IP. )
    It turns up a page which screams 2 words : ” It Works! ” . I doubt the Government had any role in this.

  • Venkat

    Does the GOI know such sites blocked directly can be accessed through proxies or tunnel sites?

    In my office, they block lot of sites. But, we access them through translate.google.com (translate from Spanish to English) :-) )

    Internet is real, true, absolute freedom!!!

  • Harshit

    I am in China right now and I am able to access this site without any proxies.

    This is not to say that China’s censorship is better than India’s. :)

    As for the broader point regarding the “spineless”-ness of Indians, I don’t think this is a trait unique to Indians. The masses on their own, throughout the world, will always take the path of least resistance and would forever be indifferent to the country’s (and consequently their own) lot as long as their modest everyday needs are being taken care of.

    The solution is not to be cynical about it but to acknowledge this as a given fact and figure out how to improve India’s condition within this constraint.

    Expecting the masses to start lynching their leaders and lamenting when this does not happen is quite dramatic and fanciful :) , but does not take us far.

    I think the only solution for India would come once we get a good and strong leadership. This is where Indians have been lacking over the past many decades, if not centuries. And, to the extent, that we Indians have been unable to generate a good leader from within ourselves (you and me included) even after all these years, I agree with your assessment.

  • Rohit

    On a related note there one more interesting tool.
    http://advocacy.globalvoicesonline.org/projects/403checker/

  • Rohit

    Also if you would like to know how far the retards can go check this out

    http://advocacy.globalvoicesonline.org/projects/maps/

    Check what did try try to block @ 26/11

  • Deepak

    How does anyone know that this site is not blank due to factors other than the government, for instance, a server error of some sorts? How can a post like this rely on “rumours” from “reliable sources”? Probably people of India not reacting to non-availability of this site is because the vast majority of them have never seen a computer. If this leads to the inference that there has never been a freedom struggle in India, I would point out to the critics the general elections of 1977. Even if I were to believe that there was no real freedom struggle against the Brits, there certainly was a popular expression of dissent through ballots which brought down one of the most tyrannical governments in Indian history. While it may be true that there is an element of passivity and refusal to fight in the Indian attitude, I believe the author exaggerates it beyond proportions

  • Vaibhav

    @Deepak- Thank you! Finally…a Reply!

  • Roshan

    Infact blogspot.com was completely blocked by Aircel and some other ISPs on instructions of Babus at of Indian Government. Probably they wanted to block only a particular blog, but ended up blocking blogspot.com completely – no blogs would show up if you had a Aircel/other ISPs connection.

  • Roshan

    Also, do you know what is the rate for Passport(address) Verification these days? It is between Rs 500 to 2000 depending on city, and what-kind-of-job you do(corrupt constable never fails to ask what-do-you-do).

    Its a shame. People pay up quickly because what these constables do is they keep your address verification perpetually pending(they will cleverly not even reject it) – so basically you are stuck.

    The only people who escape this treatment are their fellow government officers/clerks – common man is definitely harassed and looted.

  • Mani

    Dear Dr. Dey,
    I usually access the internet at work and the said page has been deemed inappropriate as per company policies.

    But I sure would like to get your wisdom on the civil liabilities for nuclear damages bill. . If this bill is passed we are in more decaying soup than the government banning websites

    Cheers

  • ravi

    You might want to read this in order to understand why zone-h was blocked by India’s govt.

    http://www.bloggernews.net/124029#comment-1540699

    and also this:

    http://www.naavi.org/

    You might also want to put a proxy in your borwser in order to get the whole amount of articles zone-h posted in regards a local indian scam.

  • Kevin
  • Pingback: “This Page Intentionally Left Blank by the Government of India”: Atanu Dey on India’s development : An Awkward Corner

  • http://themmindset.wordpress.com/ The Mindset

    One reason may be we Indians were not armed
    so it doesn’t matter how large is the group if they are not armed.