India made it to one of the recent tech news headlines by blocking the maximum number of content on Facebook. While a group of free-speech advocates will immediately get vocal against the government’s stand, there’s more to it than meets the eye. For a starter, the immediate effect (read shock) of the headline will vaporize if the population of India is compared to other countries. I wouldn’t think of it as an invasion against personal freedom either, contrary to EFF’s stand on the matter. Here’s why.
Many internet users (all over the world) do not have any respect for others’ dignity and freedom. Make no mistake, I am all in for constructive discussions and fiery political articles. Unfortunately, channels like Facebook are everyone’s personal trash cans. These channels are quite powerful because individuals can voice their opinions and reach others within a very short period of time. And in such loneliest times of seclusion as ours, it’s only logical we’ll love these channels to attract attention. However, people often cross the limits of decency and attack a person or a group. And sometimes these are directed against larger groups like other religions.
Organizations like EFF must recognize the fact that controlling a developing nation with an extremely diverse population is a mammoth task. While they are concerned about the virtual world (read internet) issues, EFF people wouldn’t be aware of the real problems in India – the percentage of children who are still deprived of basic education or the alarming number of rape cases and honour killings. I am sure majority of the blocked contents would comprise of nudity, stuff considered taboo in Indian culture and definitely politically or religiously provocative material… there won’t be any technical articles like the ones I write ;). Some of you might question the cultural taboos but I believe there’s no harm in respecting one’s tradition or culture as long as it is not a superstition or illogical. A culture is a discipline and good cultural norms are worth preserving and respecting.
It’s a long way to a mass realization of freedom and its responsibilities in India. Till she reaches that maturity, misuse of freedom of expression must be curbed.