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India vs Freedom

July 13th, 2012

This is an excerpt from a blog I read.

On July 6th, the Human Rights Council of the United Nations voted on a resolution that calls for “individuals to have the same rights online as off. The resolution could have a lasting impact on how the Internet is controlled, and censored, the world around.”

The resolution attracted some 85 state co-sponsors, 30 of which sit on the Council. The United States, along with Nigeria, Sweden, Turkey, and Brazil presented the bill. There were opponents, including India, China, and Russia. As you might expect, countries that have a history of repressing free speech both offline and on, formed the resolution’s detractors.

According to The Australian, Tunisia found the passage of the bill to have more than symbolic import. Its ambassador, as quoted by the paper, stated that “the most important result of the Tunisian revolution is this right to freedom of expression [making the passage of the resolution] very important at the moment.” He went on to note that the freedom of expression online is a “major tool for economic development.”

The resolution matters as it begins to craft a legal framework to protect dissident voices. As The Hill notes, Sweden’s editorial in the New York Times makes the case for such protections: “We cannot accept that the Internet’s content should be limited or manipulated depending on the flavor-of-the-month political leaders.” [Source.]

Let’s see. India is in good socialist company — China and Russia — in opposing the resolution. Like them, India has a “history of repressing free speech.”

Will Indians wake up and smell the stench of government repression and censorship? I would not hold my breath. Indians don’t have the stomach for freedom of expression. As the saying goes in Hindi, कुत्ते को घी नहीं पचता है |

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