Wednesday, July 19, 2006

We Shall Overcome (Maybe) . . .

According to this rediff report, Amitabh Singhal, a spokesperson of the Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI), has said that the blockade on blogs by various Indian ISPs will be lifted in another 48 hours.

Apparently the ISPs would have to tweak their Domain Name Servers (DNS) in a way that they block only the sub-domains DoT wants blocked while allowing other blogs to be accessed as before.

I hope this news is true.

For the moment I am willing to accept this partial upliftment of the ban. Ideally I would like all the sites to be free of censorship -- even the ones that the Government feels are inflammatory and against our nation's interests. Blocking these sites will not help much. If these sites are accessible, at least bloggers and readers can counter the "dangerous" rhetoric on these sites. For such arguments have to be countered by engaging these people in a debate and countering their ideas with logic, rationality, and understanding. Blocking these sites won't make the problem go away. Rather we the risk of festering a wound instead of trying to cure it.

And face it: By blocking websites, by refusing to acknowledge the "other," by censoring thoughts and words that are unpalatable to us, aren't we at risk of falling a victim to the same separatist hatred that some of these sited are advocating?

So people, 48 hours it is. Let's wait and watch.

My earlier posts on this issue:
Blogs Blocked (workaround link) and What's Missing From our Lives (workaround link).

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