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Last Updated: January 26, 2012  114 views

Where is my red ink?

in: India

Now a days, a heated debate is going everywhere on the issue of censorship of social media. The Indian Government has not forgotten the Anna Hazare movement which made brilliant use of social media to spread its anti-corruption messages. Now to curb the voice of people like Anna Hazare, the government it trying to censor the Internet. Some Government and Congress supporters have already filed the case against leading internet companies such as Google, Twitter, Facebook in Delhi High Court. They have produced some web contents, published on these websites, which might hurt religious sentiments of common people.

The way the Government handled the latest Salman Rushdie fiasco has also added fuel to the fire. If Salman Rushdie can be pressurised to opt out from literary fest on the name of religious sentiments then banning social networks will not be a big deal for this spineless and craven Government. Let me tell you a wonderful, old story from Communist times.

A guy was sent from East Germany to work in Siberia. He knew his mail would be read by censors, so he told his friends: “Let’s establish a code. If a letter you get from me is written in blue ink, it is true what I say. If it is written in red ink, it is false.” After a month, his friends get the first letter. Everything is in blue. It says, this letter: “Everything is wonderful here. Stores are full of good food. Movie theatres show good films from the west. Apartments are large and luxurious. The only thing you cannot buy is red ink.” This is how we live. We have all the freedoms we want. But what we are missing is red ink: the language to articulate our non-freedom. The way we are taught to speak about freedom- war on terror and so on-falsifies freedom. And this is what you are doing here. You are giving all of us red ink.