Today, the Government of India blocked 32 sites, mainly used for content sharing, on the pretext of protecting “sovereignty and integrity of India”, “defense of India”, “friendly relations with foreign states”, “public order” or “for preventing incitement”. We have already expressed our utter dismay at this churlish behaviour. But what did we learn after this episode?
1. Change in ruling party doesn’t change Governance!
Granted BJP has the one of the strongest majority ever. Granted PM Modi is stronger than his predecessor. But he is till working with largely the same people UPA worked with. All the bureaucrats are the same. Over 10 years of UPA government, they have been conditioned to function in a particular manner. Maybe some are just incompetent. What does Modi do? Sack all of them? Not an option. His best chance is to change their outlook and model it to match his and his parties. But that will take time
2. Until bureaucracy doesn’t come out of its slumber, Ministers will have to work overtime.
No we aren’t trying to shift blame from the Government to the bureaucrats. The Minister concerned, Mr Ravi Shankar Prasad is equally responsible. He and his colleagues will have to be extra cautious whenever any Babu brings any suggestions to them. Even the Ministers’ own suggestions should ideally be vetted by a domain expert for practicality. For egs if the Ministry had asked views from anyone familiar with how the Internet works, prior to blocking these sites, he might have been spared the embarrassment from outrage, especially from own supporters
3. Right Wing supporters will not spare anyone, even one of their own.
The first people to vent their anger, during GOI Blocks were the so-called “Right Wingers”. Today also the same right-wingers were not left behind. Sure, some hardcore supporters tried to justify this act saying “blocking was necessary for national security”. (Update: the user has deleted the tweet; it appears he too realized that what the government did was not worth supporting)
— ANKIT (@A0R9) December 31, 2014
But an overwhelming majority of them spoke vociferously against the Government:
Pity that DoT continues to act in so shoddy and shameful manner that reminds us of everything that was abhorrent about Congress-led UPA. 4b
— Kanchan Gupta (@KanchanGupta) December 31, 2014
It’s like if there is an ISIS page on Facebook and an ISIS handle in Twitter so we block the entire site till they take that down. Eh?
— shilpi tewari (@shilpitewari) December 31, 2014
GOI banned various personal blogs and tweeples in 2012. Now they banned some websites. I Condemn both.
— Ashok (@nationalizer) December 31, 2014
And some even chose to dig out PM Modi’s own tweet criticising UPA’s similar actions in 2012:
It was heartening to see those, who are often maligned as bhakts, criticize the party they openly support. Hope the other political groups, often indulging in sycophantic behavior, take note of this development and help in improving the levels of political discourse in the country.