Satire in the Age of Letters and Technology- more than just a pinch of it.
On Tuesday,the 6th of December 2011, Communication and Information Technology minister Kapil Sibal tried to put forth his concerns over censorship of social networking sites suggesting the content to be inflammatory and capable of inciting violence, gaining a lot of media light.After a largescale rejection of his statement, Mr Sibal on a popular news channel attempted to clarify it as “supervision and not censorship” – if we may ask him to explain the difference.
The timing of his statement is such that, it is also speculated,the demand of censorship is due to the widespread online campaign of Anna Hazare’s movement against corruption. His idea of ‘supervision’ wasn’t applauded or welcomed.On the contrary,it seems like he lost his set of votes which were to come from the social media users. Google India stressed that “when content is legal but controversial , we don’t remove it because differing views of people should be respected as long as they are legal”.Eminent author Chetan Bhagat wrote “I hate some stuff that’s written on Internet but I’d hate it even more if they are not allowed to write it .You can’t censor the internet content and you shouldn’t”.Twitter was flooded with tweets under #idiotkapilsibal highlighting the anger of the people. Even the RSS criticized Sibal’s move alleging that it hinted at communalism.
There are various other debates associated with the monitoring of content- this would take away the right to freedom of speech and expression from the users of social networking sites. Also, there are more important issues to be looked at- such as provision of faster internet (would you even be able to read anything online if you were stuck on the same page for ages?), better signal strength etc.Reports said that Mr Sibal was keen to censor ‘obscene images of Indian political leaders’ and ‘pornographic depictions of Gods’. The former clearly highlights his sense of insecurity.
Rather than expurgating the views of the audience, they should administer the workings of their party as charity begins at home.Lets hope Mr. Digvijay Singh does not start a hunger strike against the same and Mr Pranab Mukherjee’s letter to the Prime Minister isn’t offensive enough to cost our home minister his seat. Till then, we can sit back and have a good laugh over the millions of jokes the minister has been the butt of. Oh! Censor my statements please, will you? Well, if that were the case, you wouldn’t be reading this article in the first place.