I think the reports of India’s independence from colonial rule are severely exaggerated. Indians have been under foreign rule for several centuries and have become accustomed to being treated like irresponsible slaves, demanding to be controlled. Sure they do “democratically” determine who will rule them, but in the end, they are still slaves entrusted with the task of electing their masters. And the masters decide what the slaves will hear, read, and write. Let me explain why I hold the slaves with special contempt — because they acquiesce so willingly to their slavery.
Consider this news item: “New IT rules may make cyber cafés out of bounds for users“.
NEW DELHI: If the new rules framed by the Department of Information Technology for using cyber cafés are implemented in letter and spirit, they could well force people without their own computers to stay away from accessing the Internet, besides compelling the owners of these small businesses to store minute details about their customers’ surfing habits in the face of penal action.
Notified last month, the IT (Guidelines for Cyber Café) Rules, 2011, require cyber café customers to furnish proper identification proof, a copy of which must be stored for a year.
. . .
Additionally, cyber café owners must photograph their customers and maintain a detailed time-log of each of their visits. A soft and hard copy of these usage logs, which will include the customer’s photograph and ID proof, must be submitted to a government-designated “person or agency” every month.
. . .
Incredibly, the new rules, framed under the Information Technology Act, 2008, even specify the kind of furniture a cyber café must have. Cubicles with partitions higher than four-and-a-half feet will be illegal, and cafés are obligated to place terminals in such a way that computer screens face “outward” (towards common open space of the café) and can be easily monitored.
The new guidelines say that computers in cyber cafés should be equipped with “commercially available safety or filtering software so as to avoid, as far as possible, access to the websites relating to pornography including child pornography or obscene information.”
Further, cyber café owners need to put a display board, clearly visible to users, prohibiting them from viewing pornographic sites as well as copying or downloading information that is prohibited under the law.
About 10 percent of Indians have access to the internet, only a minority of whom I guess have internet access at home. If you are poor, the government will be standing behind you, looking over your shoulder to make sure that you only see and hear what the government approves of.
Deutsche Welle reports:
The Minister for Communications and IT, Sachin Pilot, has said the restrictions concern only content that might be considered “objectionable.” This includes material that “hurts the sentiments of certain individuals or communities, challenges the sovereignty of the nation or causes a threat to internal security.”
However, activists warn that while most of the restrictions in the rules are based on India’s criminal law and deal with blasphemous, obscene and defamatory material, some limitations are so loosely worded that they could easily be misused against netizens who are used to speaking their mind freely, whether about politics or other sometimes sensitive matters.
They feel that the rules are unreasonable as they undermine the free speech that is supposed to be guaranteed by the Constitution.
Hey mister activist, I have news for you. Two out of three Indians cannot read. They could not read the Constitution even if they wanted. But even among the minority who can read, a vanishingly small percentage have read it. For all practical purposes, the Constitution of India could be an elaborate hoax.
Freedom of speech is a joke in India. Most Indians do not know that the rulers of India do not permit citizens to disseminate news on radio.
NEW DELHI, India — Even in Asia’s supposed bastion of free speech, India, news radio is illegal.
Newspapers are allowed, and so are television stations. But those media reach mainly the rich. For the bulk of India’s more than 1 billion people, radio is all they have.
Restricting radio, then, is a powerful way to keep information from the masses. [Globalpost.]
I have been ranting about this for a while. Here’s a bit from a post from May 2007:
Even after British left, the structures they had created for controlling the economy in general, and the educational system more specifically, remained intact. The new political leaders saw it was beneficial for them not to deviate from the old colonial goal of imposing an extractive and exploitative government on the people. By continuing to control the education system, they were able to impose a degree of control over the population that would be unthinkable in a free society.
Universal primary education was especially neglected because it would have given rise to universal literacy. Universal literacy is not a good thing if the status quo is to be maintained in a regime which allows freedom of the press. It is safe to allow a free press if two out of three people cannot read. Freedom of the press is not meaningful — and is not a threat to the power structure — in a society of illiterates. We should note in passing that whether literate or not, people can hear and speak. So while the press was allowed freedom in a largely illiterate society, radio was absolutely government controlled, consistent with the aim of an exploitative and extractive system.
Sometimes I feel sorry for the slaves but in the end I am forced to feel contempt. I wrote this in March 2010.
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.