(A government proposal cooked by some chilled brain is seeking to police blogs. The government can now charge bloggers with civil and criminal penalty, ranging from three years to life imprisonment. My question is who defines questionable content? )
The citadels erected by monarchs came crashing like castles of sand. Such is the power of Jasmine. One whiff, and thud! Strange, a brutal and violent uprising to be named Jasmine. The scent was so potent that the sharp shooting female guards of Muammar Gaddafi shivered in their boots. What began from a social networking site moved to the streets of Tunisia, erupted at the Tahrir Square and landed Mubarak in coma. The scent has reached as far off as China. That’s the power of an uprising. Once again freedom is an idea to die for.
It cannot be contained. Unable access my blog for a few minutes, I became so restless that I went and vented my ire on Facebook against the service provider. And found that I was not alone. Many others were facing the same issue. Anger and disenchantment now finds new ways of expression. Not only by means of rallies, morchas, papers and magazines, but via new age media – twitter, blogs, and of course, Facebook.
Of all the seductions of media, its beauty lies in promoting transparency and fighting injustice. Yet, media is the omnipresent, 24/7 beast which hounds the powerful; devouring reputations, exposing scandals and delivering justice.
In the internet age no one can keep the people away from knowing the truth. President Obama was bang on when he said, “Suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away.” Yet, the irony is that ‘Freedom’ is much easier to support in theory than in practice. the US had to impose curbs on Wikileaks and tape the whistle blower whose whistles continue to embarrass the government. Worse, the revolution in the Middle East is not going according to the American script. Scripts don’t work. People want to write their own scripts.
You can bury the ‘corrupt body’ to the chanting of CBIs deceptive funeral rites but its merciless spirit will continue to haunt. So when the government emerges from one crisis and falls with twice the thud into another, it tries to hush-hush the fall. Yet the fall becomes an embarrassing headline the subsequent day. And the post mortem by the people continues on the internet for months. It is unstoppable.
The beauty of the medium lies in the fact that it can axe its own foot, if the foot is in the wrong place. Remember how Barkha fell from the heights of Kargil to the lows of spectrum? The moment you err, media becomes a beast. Print or pixels, the rules apply to all.
The beauty of media activism delivered justice for Jessica, but hounded Aarushi like a beast. The governments have to learn to tame the beast to their advantage to appreciate the beauty of it all. They just cannot gag the beast, or strangulate the voices. You cut one arm, another sprouts from nowhere. This beast snaps on the heels of those governing us, constantly hectoring, incessantly exposing. Beset with controversy after controversy, the government is trying to play judge, jury and the executioner by policing blogs. The suppressed feelings will find other ways of expression.
Dear God of all that is fit to upload, is it a crime to voice genuine opinion on blogs? If it is, it’s a pity.