Jag Venugopal's Blog

December 27, 2011

Indian justice system rides to the rescue

Filed under: India — Jag @ 10:48 am

Judges in India have finally thought it fit to come to the rescue of the hapless Indian. What might they have thrown the lawbook at?

  • Corrupt politicians?
  • Lawlessness?
  • Poor governance?
  • Sub-saharan Infrastructure?
  • Inflation?
  • Lack of economic reforms?
  • Governmental ineptitude  in handling terrorism?

No, silly. The greatest threat to the Republic of India (estd. 1947) comes from dirty pictures on Facebook and Google. Justices of India, borrowing a leaf from from China, that other great font of Democracy and Freedom, have summoned various online companies to answer for all the dirty content on their web sites. Of course, the great and farsighted politician, Kapil Sibal (he of the subsidized $35 tablet fame) also thought it fit to summon all these companies to complain about the naughty stuff online.

In any free society, norms of decency cannot be legislated. Society must decide what is acceptable and what is not. Surely, if one does not care much for dirty pictures or content, all one has to do is to not browse it. I have not heard any reports of Facebook or Google execs waylaying innocent Indians and thrusting all manner of pornography in their face.

And by the way, who gave these worthies (whether Kapil Sibal or the Indian judiciary) the right to sit in moral judgment over what’s obscene? Denying freedoms to the Indian citizen is a slippery slope. Today its alleged dirty content on the Internet. Tomorrow, it could be youngsters in jeans who are considered obscene. Oh wait, that’s happened already. And the day after, anything that’s determined obscene by the ruler of the day will be. Welcome to the Indian version of Saudi Arabia.

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