Ode to Kapil Sibal

I’ve never tried to hide my frustration with the inability of words to precisely convey how I feel. So in response to today’s outrageous news that Kapil Sibal wants to censor Google and Facebook, I offer this instead.

Sibal, why dost thou a canopy of tyrany stitch?
Little snarky snippets of thought,
Facebook scraps which are but naught,
Hold fast in your brain and make it itch!

Devious harms you alone see.
Disasters reaching to the sky.
But since we don’t rule by royal decree,
Acute sensitivity from the heart you must pry.

‘Tis true that courteousness must be cultivated,
And responded to in kind.
But bad manners must needs be tolerated
Politeness into law cannot be signed.

Perhaps you worry it’s not merely cheesy,
And abusers might actively seek to harm?
But dear Sibal, expressing dislike is easy.
“Internet courage” is no cause for alarm!

People need an outlet for their rile
Freedom of expression is our safety valve.
Clamp down on it at your peril – for we will fight.
Lèse-Majesté is not our style.

 

Comments

  1. Kapil Sibal is trying to make India more like China. At least in China they are not complete idiots to censor stuff against religion. So next time Barack Obama visits China and talks about censorship issues in their country, China is going to point their fingers at us and tell the Americans we are a lot worse

    • bhagwad says:

      You’re right. On the one hand we feel proud of not being like China and Pakistan. On the other hand, we seem to envy them and deliberately attempt to whittle ourselves down to their level.

  2. Real Wincy says:

    he is just doing what every good puppy does. Obeying HMV – his masters voice. The real architect of censorship and media bias is She Who Must Be Obeyed…. Let her face our ire.

    Here’s a poem ive been inspired to write

    Empress Snoria d’Italia de Bofors is plotting
    Just as jester Diggy, with conspiracies, is frothing
    (may I assure you, the loon most certainly is
    She just isn’t one to put up with freedoms like this….)

    Says She:
    “Why don’t these pesky Indians just cease this quirk
    And stop trying to make this dastardly democracy work?”
    Ay! what’s a poor girl from a good Mussolini loving clan to do?
    Mamma Mia’s name is dragged through blogrolls of Swedish poo…
    Surely a ban on the Internet isn’t too much to ask, my poodles
    When the CBI obeys, why not Twitter and Google?

    Continues Cabal Signal, her Left Hand Man…

    “Can’t expect my Dowager just to ignore what they’re saying on cable
    (about) Don Quattrochi and her share of the proceeds (in Naples)
    O praise to the renunciate, praise be to this white saint
    Of office of profit, don’t say it softly, don’t even print it faint”

    Says Peed Chilledumbragebum…
    “You can bribe a million people, make the electoral machines freeze
    But these white capped and orange robed aam admis are so difficult to please!”

    She resumes…
    “How dare they question the legitimacy of my appointees, so great
    The chief electoral officer and the president, SO WHAT if they are mates?
    Don’t they know it’s a mothers greatest desire to see
    Her son, (even if he be, without real job or degree)
    Conferred with many an honor and title, in the great halls of the nation
    For don’t they know this surname alone is the best qualification?
    So go on, obey, and don’t say, out of step, a thing
    For you don’t want to insult, your future King!
    For that, unworthy slaves uh… citizens…would be a great sin to brook
    And faster than a tweet, I’ll take away your Gmail, and Facebook!”

    (any resemblance to any persons living or dead or just plain fascist is purely coincidental)

    • bhagwad says:

      I don’t really like to indulge in personal attacks based on race or birth…I find them in poor taste. Also, unless it’s shown that Sonia Gandhi herself asked for this, I’m going to assume that Sibal did this of his own accord.

      But knowing about this, it’s wrong for Sonia to keep quiet. She should come out and publicly chastise Sibal about this bullshit.

  3. Freedom comes with responsibility. The responsibility to protect it from amongst many other things, censorship. I share your frustration.

  4. Quite apart from the political aspects of such statements, I don’t think Indian politicians truly realize the sheer resilience and size of the internet.

    You CANNOT censor the web. Not completely anyway.

    The internet was designed from the very beginning to be fault tolerant (block websites and censorship are basically just “faults” from a technical point of view). The ARPANET, which is arguably the grand daddy of all modern inter-networked systems, started out as a proposal made by a company called RAND Corp in response to a contract awarded by the US department of defense in the early 1950s. This being the height of the cold war, the DoD wanted a comnet that could withstand nuclear strikes even at key locations of the enemy’s choosing. The network this produced was highly distributed. Researchers knew that any number of routers and computers could be blown to bits at any moment and all routing algorithms were developed with that idea in mind.

    While nuclear strikes are not something most network architects worry about nowadays, the fact is that the internet remains highly resilient and there are usually many, many ways to get from point A to B within the network.

    For example, anyone savvy enough to download and run Tor (a distributed proxy solution) on their computer can access any site in the world and never possibly get caught doing it, censorship or no censorship. Anyone who goes to the trouble of using PGP with a well guardede Alien strength RSA key can sleep with the surety that no one in the known universe could ever read their email without their permission.

    Sibal is talking through his cocked hat.

    • bhagwad says:

      All that’s true cynical….but I’m distressed by the mere thought behind it. While restrictions can be worked around, it creates a chilling effect in general. Most people won’t know about things like Tor…

      It’s just depressing, even though I know this can never go through.

  5. Dev says:

    Dude…
    Keep this post in a safe. No one knows when Indian govt may decide to sensor blogs as well. :-)

  6. Purba says:

    Sibal has ended up giving publicity to the offensive material he wanted to be removed. Everyone is now hitting the google button to find out what made Kapil Sibal so angry.

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