#India – Sterilization for Accomplishing Targets -टारगेट पूरा करने के लिए बंध्याकरण! #Vaw #Womenrights


jUNE 13, 2013, Prabhat Khabar

ये है हकीकत..

बंध्याकरण पर दबाव नहीं
बंध्याकरण शिविरों में महिलाएं दबाव में नहीं आतीं. वे अपनी मरजी से आती हैं. देश में कुछ ऐसी जगहें हो सकती हैं, जहां इस तरह के मामले हों, पर सब जगह ऐसा नहीं है.
एसके सिकदर, संचालक, जनसंख्या नियंत्रण कार्यक्रमपिछले कुछ समय से महिलाओं के बंध्याकरण से जुड.ी खबरें आती रही हैं. सबसे दुखद पहलू यह है कि गरीब महिलाएं थोडे. पैसे के लिए बंध्याकरण करवाती हैं. यह भी खबर आती है कि डॉक्टर बिना किसी सुविधा के ही ऑपरेशन करते हैं. जंग लगे चिकित्सीय उपकरण से भी ऑपरेशन करने के मामले सामने आये हैं. इससे महिला के इंफेक्शन होने के खतरे बढ. जाते हैं. कई बार महिलाओं की जान भी चली जाती है.भारत में एक साल में 46 लाख महिलाओं का बंध्याकरण

ये है हकीकत..बंध्याकरण पर दबाव नहीं

बंध्याकरण शिविरों में महिलाएं दबाव में नहीं आतीं. वे अपनी मरजी से आती हैं. देश में कुछ ऐसी जगहें हो सकती हैं, जहां इस तरह के मामले हों, पर सब जगह ऐसा नहीं है.

एसके सिकदर, संचालक, जनसंख्या नियंत्रण कार्यक्रमबिना किसी सुविधा के ऑपरेशन

यह एक साई है कि डॉक्टर बिना किसी सुविधा के ही ऑपरेशन करते हैं. ऑपरेशन के लिए प्रयोग में लाये जाने वाले उपकरण पुराने और गंदे होते हैं. कई बार डॉक्टर बिना ऑपरेशन थियेटर के ही सामान्य टेबल पर ऑपरेशन करते हैं.बंध्याकरण के लिए कतार में खड.ी महिलाएं.पिछले कुछ समय से महिलाओं के बंध्याकरण से जुड.ी खबरें आती रही हैं. सबसे दुखद पहलू यह है कि गरीब महिलाएं थोडे. पैसे के लिए बंध्याकरण करवाती हैं. यह भी खबर आती है कि डॉक्टर बिना किसी सुविधा के ही ऑपरेशन करते हैं. जंग लगे चिकित्सीय उपकरण से भी ऑपरेशन करने के मामले सामने आये हैं. इससे महिला के इंफेक्शन होने के खतरे बढ. जाते हैं. कई बार महिलाओं की जान भी चली जाती है.सेंट्रल डेस्क

जब भी भारत में परिवार नियोजन की बात उठती है, तब महिलाएं ही सबसे आगे होती हैं. यह जानना महत्वपूर्ण है कि दुनियाभर में होने वाले महिला बंध्याकरणों में भारत की 37 प्रतिशत महिलाएं होती हैं. पोपुलेशन फाउंडेशन की संयुक्त निदेशक सोना शर्मा के अनुसार, बंध्याकरण मुहिम में महिलाएं ही निशाने पर होती हैं, क्योंकि भारतीय समाज में पुरुषों का आधिपत्य है. पुरुष इस बात से डरते हैं कि वे ऑपरेशन से कमजोर हो जायेंगे या वे अपनी र्मदाना ताकत खो देंगे. बंध्याकरण कराने वाली महिलाओं को सरकार द्वारा दिये जाने वाले पैसे और साथ ही डॉक्टरों को भी इसके लिए अच्छी रकम दिये जाने के कारण महिलाओं के बंध्याकरण में तेजी आयी है. पिछले साल 46 लाख महिलाओं का बंध्याकरण किया गया. इनमें से अधिकांश महिलाओं ने पैसे के लिए बंध्याकरण करवाया. जबकि पिछले साल होने वाले कुल बंध्याकरण में महज चार प्रतिशत ही पुरुष थे. नयी दिल्ली स्थित ह्यूमन राइट्स लॉ नेटवर्क के ‘रिप्रोडक्टिव राइट्स’ की डायरेक्टर केरी मैकब्रूम के अनुसार, इससे समझा जा सकता है कि भारत में महिलाओं की क्या स्थिति है, उन्हें अपने प्रजनन संबंधी अधिकारों पर भी नियंत्रण नहीं है. वह कहती हैं महिलाएं आसानी से बलि का बकरा बनायी जाती हैं, चाहे इसके लिए सरकारी अधिकारी जिम्मेदार हों या फिर उनके पति. संयुक्त राष्ट्र के डाटा के अनुसार, प्रजनन पर नियंत्रण करने के लिए उपाय करने वाले 49 प्रतिशत दंपत्तियों में तीन चौथाई महिलाएं ही बंध्याकरण के लिए आगे आती हैं.

कमाई का जरिया

जब भी परिवार नियोजन के लिए बंध्याकरण शिविर लगाये जाते हैं, वहां महिलाएं कतार में खड.ी रहती हैं. डॉक्टर बस उन्हें एनीमिया टेस्ट के लिए बोलते हैं. इसके बाद डॉक्टर बड.ी तेजी से ऑपरेशन करते हैं. प्रत्येक ऑपरेशन पर केवल तीन मिनट का समय दिया जाता है. डॉक्टर को अपनी कमाई से मतलब रहता है.

पूरा करना होता है टारगेट

नयी दिल्ली स्थित सेंटर फॉर हेल्थ एंड सोशल जस्टिस के डायरेक्टर अभिजीत दास कहते हैं भारत में बंध्याकरण शिविरों में आने वाली अधिकांश महिलाएं पैसे की लालच में आती हैं. स्वास्थ्य अधिकारियों को भी अपना टारगेट पूरा करना होता है. दास का मानना है कि भारत में परिवार नियोजन एक कोटा तंत्र बन गया है. यही कारण है कि चीन के बाद भारत में परिवार नियोजन के लिए अपनाये जाने वाले उपाय सबसे खराब हैं. हमें यह जानना चाहिए कि सरकार ने 1996 में ही बंध्याकरण के लिए टारगेट पूरी करने जैसी नीति को छोड. दिया था. पर आज भी अधिकांश राज्यों में पहले वाली ही स्थिति है. वर्ष के पहले कुछ महीनों को तो ‘बंध्याकरण सीजन’ कहा जाता है. यह सब इसलिए कि 31 मार्च को वित्तीय वर्ष समाप्त होने से पहले बंध्याकरण के लिए निर्धारित लक्ष्य को पूरा किया जा सके. स्वास्थ्यकर्मियों पर बंध्याकरण के टारगेट को पूरा करने का दबाव भी रहता है.

‘ब्लूमबर्ग’ में सर्वप्रथम प्रकाशितझारखंड

राज्य में 29 प्रतिशत महिलाएं परिवार नियोजन के लिए बंध्याकरण करवाती हैं. जबकि ग्रामीण इलाकों में नसबंदी कराने वाले पुरुषों की संख्या 0.4 प्रतिशत और शहरी इलाकों में यह 0.6 प्रतिशत है.बिहार

प्रत्येक वर्ष साढे. छह लाख महिलाओं का बंध्याकरण जबकि नसबंदी कराने वाले पुरुषों की संख्या महज 12 हजार ही है. बिहार में इस साल 13 हजार से अधिक महिला बंध्याकरण शिविर लगाये जायेंगे

Hindu-Muslim And The Facebook War: Online Communalism #socialmedia


  • Posted on: April 29, 2013, Youth Ki Awaaz

By Nihal Parashar:

I wrote a dissertation titled ‘Building of a Communal State in a Virtual World: Hindu-Muslim relation seen through the lens of YouTube and Facebook. I was trying to interrogate the role of Social Media platforms in the ongoing ‘war’ between the fascists of the two religions. While working on the dissertation I stumbled upon various Facebook pages and YouTube videos which propagated violence. The question which comes to mind is shall we try to ban these pages? But the bigger question is how socially relevant these pages are? If there is a hate page on a certain social media platform, it simply signifies that there is hate in the society as well. The spill over of societal issues could be seen on these platforms. The Facebook pages, with numerous ‘likes’, justify that they are only tip of the iceberg. The problem lies somewhere else. This reminds me of a couplet by renowned Urdu poet Josh Malihabadi which says, ‘Zeb ye deta nahin sarkaar ko, paaliye bimaariyon ko maariye bimaar ko’ (This does not suits government when it kills the people affected with a disease but does nothing to eradicate the disease).

social media

A PHOTO SHARED BY THE PAGE ‘KARZ APNA CHUKANA HAI, BABRI MASJID WAHIN BANANA HAI’

Today I came across another such page. The title of the page is ‘Karz apna chukana hai, Babri Masjid wahin banana hai’, loosely translates in English as ‘We need to pay back by building Babri Mosque at the same place’. It was time to revisit my thesis and add few more notes.

The era in which we live is extremely complex in nature. The extraordinary problems are of varied forms which certainly requires extraordinary answers. We did not inherit a peaceful society from the previous generation. The previous generation was also not fortunate enough to inherit a perfect society from their predecessors. It is less likely that we are going to present a better society to the future generations. But this does not mean that we all must stop looking for better answers to questions of the present era.

The Communal aspect of the Social Media platforms is a result of the dissatisfaction in the society. There are few similarities in the pages which claim to represent different religions. The administrator of most of the pages lack sense of humour (they make you laugh at times although for a different reason altogether) and poses a great sense of anger. The posts are written to stimulate a feeling of hatred for the ‘other’community. They use each and every possible mythological symbol for the purpose. The admin and followers do not hesitate to turn most of the current social and political developments into an occasion to revisit the history and look for reasons to criticize the behaviour of the‘others’. They take solace in the religious past to condemn the act of others.

Apart from these, the most common similarity for such pages in India is Narendra Modi. You will find posts related to him on all the Hindutva pages as well as Islamic fascists pages, with obvious love and hate on the respective pages.

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SCREENSHOT FROM THE PAGE ‘INDIA IS A HINDU NATION’ WHICH IS STEREOTYPING ISLAMIC COUNTRIES THROUGH THIS IMAGE AND MANY OTHERS ON THE PAGE

The social media gives a sense of pseudo-anonymity to the person on the front end. You are hero for the moment. And fighting is an extremely honourable job, as per our social and religious norms. Are we living in 10000 B.C? What is the importance of civilization if it is not able to generate the basic understanding that fighting is not going to solve any problem. A good hearted soul said that non- violence is older than the mountains and oceans. Seems our civilization has taken wrong route and a peaceful world seems a distant dream.

Rise of communalism on different social media platforms is going to shape many young individuals, still in early teenage, that may come across certain posts which may plant the seed of prejudice in their fertile minds. The human mind is amazing, especially in the early years. It distinguishes right and wrong in a very young age and for the entire life it only justifies the decision of the tender age. It needs to be extremely elastic to revaluate its decision in a later year. If an individual has a certain point of view on a certain issue it is totally related to his personal journey. Social media may act as a tool for the same. But in no circumstance it can be the culprit.

What must be done to take care of the rise of communalism on the social media platforms? Shall we agree with an Indian minister’s idea of asking Facebook and Google to screen the content on the websites? This does not have a very simple answer as well. Like all extraordinary questions it deserves an extraordinary answer.

‘We need an inclusive society’- Is this an accepted statement? We need to answer this. If it is an accepted statement then we certainly need to look for a community of peace-builders who believe in the humanitarian values. There will be the fascist forces to ridicule this idea. But an inclusive society will also accommodate them. No, I am not talking about utopia. I am talking about my society, which rests its hope on you, O reader.

#India – Change.org : Campaign Victory’s exposed #Vaw #Socialmedia


Kamayani Bali Mahabal, April 23 2013 , Kracktivism

l 23, 2013, Kractivism

  “Every day, Change.org members win people-powered campaigns for social change”.

Just to give a background to those, who are reading about change.org for first time. It’s a popular and fast-growing website for petitions. In the last  two years, Change.org has grown from 1 million to more than 25  million users, according to the site . It began as a liberal blogging site and then pivoted  to become a hub for petitions, mostly with a liberal or populist bent.

Staring as dot.org domain name to its declaration that “our business is social good” to its certification as a B Corporation, Change.org positioned itself as a progressive force. It promised to run campaigns for “organizations fighting for the public good and the common values we hold dear—fairness, equality, and justice.” That’s no longer its mission.  Something changed last year, The policy changed, ‘ partners’ became ‘advertisers ‘in the name openness, democracy and empowerment . So which means now  they will accept paid promotions from conservative organizations, Corporations , that no bar. I had written   Open letter to CEO Ben Rattray last year  in which I said I will not participate but monitor  change.org.

So here is an expose of monitoring  campaigns of change.org in India

 In India   we have two petitions being  hosted on change.org, one by victims and one by perpetrators ?

You think I am joking please read below

The Incident behind both the  petitions :-

Late evening on 11 April 2013, a group of students from Nalsar Law  University went to the Rain Club located in Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, for what was meant to be a farewell party for the graduating seniors.

When they stepped out of the club around 10.30pm to wait for their cab, one of the women students spotted someone taking their pictures with a mobile  phone. She objected and demanded to see the mobile. The mobile turned out to be a dummy, without a card in it. When she further objected and demanded that the phone with which photos were taken be handed over, other media cameramen who were present began to film the altercation.

The students were outraged at this invasion of their privacy and the callous response of media cameramen who continued the harassment by following them to the car and persisting in filming them even as they were vehemently protesting this invasion.

The next morning several Telugu channels began showing the footage. Some websites also put up the footage. TV9, ABN Andhra Jyoti, Sakshi TV, Studio N, NTV, IdlyTV, News 24 .

The incident represents blatant sexual harassment of women in a public place, criminal intimidation of the women with threat of public defamation through media. The anchors of the channels repeatedly referred to the women as  punch drunk, half naked, and nude, when the women students were dressed in strapless evening wear. One of the female anchors referred to their attire  as “creepily offensive short clothes.” They also claimed that they were dancing in the club although the entire story was played out on the street and not inside the club. The media persons were not present inside the club. To make matters worse, CVR News put together several clips of provocative dancing from various sources, implying that the present incident was somehow connected to those. Significantly, while only a couple of channels were present outside the  club and were involved in the incident, the story was generously shared with many other channels and web sites. All the channels replayed the footage  provided by the offending channels without providing any opportunity for the  victims of this coverage to respond or give their side of the story.

The channels also were assuming the tone of moral police, claiming that the students were “leaving Indian traditions in tatters by their dressing and  behaviour”. The anchors of the channels took on the role of moral police  by commenting on the young girls’ clothing, even as the channels’ staple fare  for advertising revenue on their news bulletins comprises song and dance sequences from films and film events featuring skimpily clad women doing vulgar dances to vulgar lyrics. The reporters and anchors held forth on excessive freedom for women and its “devastating” effects on society.

The channels also falsely claimed that the students’ behaviour was condemned by women’s organizations even though they only showed the statements of two little-known local politicians, thereby misleading public opinion.

So here on change org , we have a petition by supporters of NALSAR students  asking for  Stringent actions against media houses participating in voyeuristic reporting ,  addressed to Justice Katju, Chairperson, Press Council of India , Justice N V Ramana, Acting Chief Justice, High Court of Andhra Pradesh , Ms Aruna D K, Minister for Information & Public Relations, Cinematography, AP Film, TV & Theatre Dvlpt Corp, AP  Justice Verma, Chairperson, News and Broadcasting Standards Authority Mr Manish Tiwari, Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Union of India

The petition says

The media in our country has engaged in relentless sensationalism, resorting to cheap and lowly tactics to raise TRPs and viewership. This includes airing concocted stories; violating people’s privacy by taking video footage, morphing the images and airing it against completely fabricated and sensationalistic stories; secretly taking videos of people in private parties and clubs and extorting them; and engaging in harassing and abusive conduct. One such incident of unethical, irresponsible, and victimizing behaviour is an incident that occurred on the 121h of April, 2013 to college girls from NALSAR University of Law.The petition has reached 5000 plus signatures

nalsar

And on the other hand, we also have change.org giving platform to the  voyeuristic reporters .with a petition floated by Electronic Media Journalists’ Association of AP , asking to Condemn the action of a group of students who assaulted media persons   addressed to, Manish Tiwari, I&B Minister, Govt of India , Prof. (Dr) Faizan Mustafa ,, Vice-Chancellor, Nalsar , Mrs D K Aruna, Minister of State in AP , Justice Mr M Katju, Chairperson, Press Council of India Justice Katju ,Justice Verma, Chairperson, News and Broadcasting Standards Authority ,Justice N V Ramana, Acting Chief Justice, High Court of Andhra Pradesh ,Hari Prasad, President of Electronic Media Journalists’ Association of AP Please note the targets of both petitions are same .

The petition says

Andhra Pradesh has the maximum number of television news channels not only in India but also in the entire world. The ratings and the importance of these channels show how reliable and responsible the media is in Andhra Pradesh. They never restore to cheap and lowly tactics. There is self-monitoring desk as well as the important organization NBA that keeps monitor on all the channels content.

This petition also has 5000 plus signatures

andhra

Now I want to ask change.org, which petition’s victory will be their victory ?

Wait a minute,

whoever wins or loses,

 it’s a Win- Win situation for change.org.

As a big fans of freedom of speech, they claim their democractic platform. and well whoever wins. Change will be their submitting the petition claiming their VICTORY !! . But I wonder what will they do when they have to take a STAND ? So which petition will they push ? or will; they push both ? and then see pros and cons in context of the political situation and in a closed door meeting then thrash out two teams to work on these two petitions . Call both parties  and weigh the  probabilities and then take a call, keeping both parties in dark on probabilities ?.

So, guys wake up, all those who petition on change.org .This online platform is a for profit  company ,  who through these petitions is  trying legitimize their image as that of  ACTIVISM .They also get  commercial benefits through donations and sponsorships just by providing platform to all you ,under the garb of various human rights issues . VICTORY is for change.org

Change.org’s mission  statement says ‘ to empower people everywhere to create the change they want to see, and we believe the best way to achieve that mission is by combining the values of a non-profit with the flexibility and innovation of a tech startup. ” They call themselves “social enterprise,” using the power of business for social good. “Social Enterprise,” is a term that’s gotten a lot of hold among people who start companies and want to make a difference in the world. But social enterprise as opposed to what? Anti-social enterprise?

Here is where Change.org’s business model comes into play. Change.org sells what are called “sponsored petitions” to its advertisers. Most are nonprofits–right now they include Amnesty International USA, Greenpeace and the Human Rights Campaign — but there’s nothing to prevent companies from sponsoring petitions. Tapping into its audience, Change.org collects names on those petitions and then sells those who opt in to the sponsor, for about $2 per name. Some advertisers get discounts, and other pay more, for example, for people in specific states. Here is a request to Change .org , please, on behalf of companies everywhere Spare us the pieties about how “our business is social good.”

Change.org is a digital media business. Like MTV or Facebook, It creates or aggregates content, the  petitions,  to attract an audience whose attention, in the form of email addresses, it sells to sponsors.

It’s not selling social change. It’s selling you and me.  .

So here is my Appeal to all friends, activists,  celebrating their victories,  and  petitions on change.org,

It’s  time ….

If you’re a member at Change.org take action by unsubscribing from their list. At the very least they can’t profit further off your email.. If you see petitions passed around by friends on Change.org don’t sign them and inform them what’s going on.  It’s important to Explore alternatives

Hopefully the activists in India will very soon have their own activist, accountable, and transparent platform.

Watch out this blog for more :-)

Facebook bans when you post anything anti-israel- try it ! #censorship


Facebook is controlled by the same people who are in control of other media.Whenever I post anything against the Israeli aggression or against any Arab dictators my posts are deleted and I get warning or get punishment of not being able to post anything on FB, pls check the screen shots of the warnings- Rizvi https://www.facebook.com/Rizviz

The admins of occupy wallstreet group used to share  rizvi’s  posts which was liked and shared by 40-50 thousand members everyday.

Even they got similar messages and on of the admin was banned from FB.
In past he  was blocked for posting a cartoon of King Abdullah of KSA.
And it was very strange that he could not even post a link/photo against coca-cola on FB.
His posts were disappearing immediately on fb. without any warning.

Screen shot 2012-11-28 at 1.01.26 AM

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he snet me by message following poem, am posting here as he cannot on facebook

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मैं जानता हूँ कि तेरे पंख मेरी कल्पना के परे उड़ान भरने में समर्थ हैं
परन्तु मेरी कल्पना ही मेरा धर्म है
यदि उसके परे तू जायेगा तो तेरे पंख काट दिए जायेंगे।
पहले पंख काटने वाले मेरे धार्मिक पुलिस हवलदार हुआ करते थे
अब कैंची रखने का अधिकार महानिरीक्षक के ही पास है
लोगों का मानना है कि हवलदार ही धार्मिक हुआ करते हैं
महानिरीक्षक पंख काटने में समझदारी दिखायेंगे
अब मुझपर बेइंसाफ होने की उँगलियाँ नहीं उठाई जाएँगी
मगर तू मेरी कल्पना के परे उड़ान भी नहीं भर सकेगा
मैं जब चाहूँ, जिसको चाहूँ, जिस समय चाहूँ
उठा कर ला सकता हूँ
हवालात में बलि चढ़ा सकता हूँ
या बीस साल तक काल कोठरी में रख कर
तेरी उड़ने कि क्षमता समाप्त होने पर
बाइज्ज़त बरी कर सकता हूँ
विश्व्यापी है मेरा धर्म और उसके मानने वाले
न तू सात समुन्दर दूर अमरीका में बच पायेगा
न रूस के किसी गिरजा घर में
न अरब में न इरान में
न ही चीन या जापान में
तेरा समय समाप्त हो चुका है
कबीर के साथ, ग़ालिब के साथ
वाल्मीकि पर अन्याय कर के तुलसी बच निकला
इन्टरनेट होता तो कोई बच नहीं पाता
यहाँ फड़फड़ाने से ज्यादा तू कुछ नहीं कर सकता
अब सारे इनाम, नोबेल पुरस्कार, भारत रत्न
मेरी कल्पना में ही सीमित विषयों पर मिलते हैं
इनाम पाओ उड़ान भूल जाओ

THE BAN COULD BE BECAUSE OF FOLLOWING PHOTOS HE SHARED

THE CARTOONS below have been banned, friends and myself cnanot see on mozilla firefox , but i can see on google chroome as it is connected to gmail account, one of my friends informed, hence i am sharing FACEBOOK ALBUM hope all can see the cartoons, PL DO COMMENT if you can see or not

 

THESE CARTOONS BAN BAN YOU FROM FACEBOOK- CLICK TO SEE

#India- Acid attack: Netizens want ‘coward’ caught #VAW


TNN | Nov 10, 2012, 12.44AM IST

MUMBAI: The online world has been abuzz with news of the chemical attack on Aryanka Hozbetkar, 26, with netizens asking for help in finding the suspect Jerrit John, 46.

Director-actor Farhan Akhtar tweeted: “Shame on you Jerrit John. Now come out of hiding, you coward.” Akhtar posted a picture of John and wrote: “If you spot this man please dial 100 and refer case to Dadar police station.”

Simran Channey, a marketing manager at a film firm, tweeted, “Man, you can never know when someone will lose it! Jerrit was someone I had worked with, was a loser, but never thought he’d be a woman beater and would throw (a chemical) on a woman. It’s sickening me since morning.”

Human Rights activist Kamayani Bali Mahabal blogged: “Jerrit has been asking friends to say that they did not hear anything or see anything. Jerrit, seriously, you think we will be quiet? You may have deleted your Facebook profile, but you can’t be on the run for long.”

Dipti Shah wrote on the networking page of Mumbai Cycling Enthusiasts: “So, so angry. Cycling is all about fun and not anger nor frustration nor revenge. So all you jerks and frustrated leeks, be it lust, be it power, be it personal vendetta – stay away. There’s no room here for you cowards.”

Don’t Shoot the Messenger: The ‘Un-Social’ Strategy #Censorship #FOE


 

August 28, 2012

When the Jasmine revolution swept up the Arab spring, detractors around the world said democratic nations would be safe. The new media revolution would only help democracies engage further. This belief has held strong. Yet, those in the corridors of power, here in India, have felt increasingly uncomfortable. This is unchartered territory. The government finds itself in a new information battlefield with no contingency plan. The manipulation of the social media in allegedly spurring the mass exodus of north east Indians from all over the country, fearing retaliation in the aftermath of the Assam violence, has only confirmed its worst fears.

The government reaction has been typical—censorship and crackdown. But naturally, the backlash to the decision has been equally loud, spurring a nationwide debate on internet freedom and government control. It is almost a sense of deja vu! The last time we saw television studio discussions this animated and newspaper editorials this frantic was during the peak of the “India Against Corruption” movement spearheaded by a septuagenarian Gandhian Anna Hazare. Social media in combination with television coverage gave the movement an unprecedented momentum that had the establishment completely taken by surprise. The impulsive reaction then too was an immediate crackdown on social media websites. The only difference was that then the millions out on the street were protesting misgovernance, today they are fleeing for their safety.

Here are two examples: one that pledges to test the true strength of our democracy and the other that exposes the helplessness of the establishment to guarantee and assure its citizens safety against hate crimes. In both cases, what is obvious is the manipulation of the messenger. Clearly, the establishment has been sitting this game out. With no tools at its disposal, or specialists aware of the advances in the new communication genre, the government is simply overwhelmed. The glare of 24×7 news coverage hastens reaction time resulting in predictable statements threatening crackdown and censorship. In fact, some television journalists believe that it was relentless pressure from social media followers of various networks that actually propelled sustained television coverage of the Assam violence.1 The new media impact is clearly here to stay.

In response to this, according to the most recent reports from Guwahati, the government has banned 250 websites, which, it alleges, fuelled the communal fears.2 The Indian government has also stated that it possesses evidence against a Pakistan-based hardline group that is alleged to have been involved in doctoring images and spreading them across Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and other such websites to incite people and create panic among people from the north east living across India.3 The Prime Minister’s Office has asked Twitter to remove all fake account handles floated in the name of the Prime Minister.4 While Twitter relented partially, Google and Facebook have responded to government pressure by citing legal tangles and redirecting requests to Uncle Sam.5 The US government, incidentally, urged India a few days ago to maintain internet freedom amid reports of a crackdown.6

This episode, which has started the controversy on social media and regulation, begs many questions to be answered. First, can the authorities truly blame social media alone for the ramifications of the violence in Assam to the hate crimes in Pune, protests in Mumbai and the exodus from Bangalore? Second, if rumours alone could trigger mass exodus, there also looms the larger question of integration and identity of citizens from the north east with the rest of India. As a nation we have failed to assure them of their safety. Finally, violence in Assam still continues despite government clampdowns on social media. So, are we really missing the wood for the trees?

If one were to leave the politics aside and look at the bigger picture, India and its governance machinery have stood exposed to a massive cyber security challenge and put themselves in an awkward position both domestically and internationally. Experts on cyber security admit that even reports on cyber security that provide policy recommendations to the government have often overlooked the aspect of dealing with social media. But can we afford to do this any longer?

According to a survey analysis on social media usage in India, of the TRAI listed 121 million internet users 46 million are monthly active Facebook users (which has made India dethrone Indonesia from the second spot of most frequent Facebook usage).7 Twitter has a total user base of more than 14 million in India, which is also the sixth largest country in terms of personal accounts.8 This by no means is a small number. It also reflects the changing patterns of communication among urban India. This is an audience that the government needs to reach out to.

While appreciating the effort taken by the government and various departments to engage with the new media phenomenon, one but has to ask – in the face of these staggering numbers, is hosting twitter handles and facebook account links on government pages enough? Routine schedules of meetings and press releases aside, do the authorities engage and exploit the potential of the new media to their advantage? Most importantly is a there a method to this madness?

Perhaps there is, but the problem lies herein. We have never heard it out and aloud. Or at least that is the perception. The messages don’t seem to get through the clutter. The problem seems to stem from the organisational culture and mindset, which has still not embraced the phenomenon that is the new media revolution. So every time there is a problem that stems up in the space, the establishment’s impulsive reaction is to shut down.

Journalists reporting on the ground in Assam confirm that there has still been no effort from either the state government or the centre in using the social media and other forms of communication to counter the rumour mongers creating havoc in the state. All the efforts have been concentrated on clamping down on websites with offensive content. This approach is necessary, but reactive. Could authorities have invested in a plan to communicate assurances of protection and safety to the people in the affected areas? The Prime Minister’s speech in both houses of Parliament may not have been heard by a villager in a relief camp in Assam.

For the government, the internet has always been a tool for better governance and its application has been technical, with issues of e-governance handled by technocrats. Not much thought has been given to the aspect of content and here lies its biggest shortcoming. 9 Now having come under strident criticism, the Centre has “fine tuned its cyber strategy by setting up a dedicated panel to screen websites…. [and] deciding against a blanket ban of Twitter handles it has sought to set up a panel to screen every URL or website that intelligence and technical agencies believe should be blocked.”10 However, in the interim, the passing of orders and their subsequent retraction, amplified by clumsy press releases, has resulted in the government clearly losing the perception battle.11

Yet, many believe that pushing the bureaucracy to develop a proactive approach to communicating with the people and simultaneously developing a system to regulate social media content is also beset with systemic problems. The issue is two pronged – social media monitoring and media engagement. The NTRO (National Technical Research Organisation), the apex intelligence body under the National Security Advisor, still does not have an official mandate of a monitoring agency. Ironically, it has only 50 people to handle media monitoring for the entire nation.12 On the other hand, if one required authorities to engage and counter propaganda, the most common refrain is the predicament of the fear of the Official Secrets Act that hovers above like the sword of Damocles. “Larger issues of governance stuck in the paradigm of the colonial era mindset stand in the way of efforts to counter offensive propaganda and project a robust image of the country”, says Josy Joseph, Senior Journalist with the Times of India.13

Censorship and crackdown can only be interim solutions. We need to look at alternative models that don’t normatively take away the idea of India as a healthy democracy and draw negative comparisons with China. The immediate need is to communicate strategically and not shoot the messenger.

  1. 1. Based on conversation with Kishalay Bhattacharjee, Senior Editor, NDTV 24×7, August 26, 2012.
  2. 2. “North East Exodus : Govt bans more than 250 websites”, August 20, 2012, The Imphal Free Press, available at http://www.ifp.co.in/imphal-free-press-full-story.php?newsid=8773&catid=1, accessed on August 23, 2012.
  3. 3. Ibid.
  4. 4. “PMO statement on social media”, August 24, 2012, available at http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=86733, accessed on August 25, 2012.
  5. 5. Anuradha Shukla, “North East Exodus: Google, Facebook ask want govt to seek US help to share info on web pages with inflammatory content”, India Today, August 22, 2012, available at http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/government-google-twitter-facebook-un…, accessed on August 23, 2012.
  6. 6. “US urges India to respect Internet Freedom”, First post.com, August 22, 2012, available at http://www.firstpost.com/world/us-urges-india-to-respect-internet-freedo…, accessed on August 24, 2012.
  7. 7. “Social media Usage in India expected to rise in 2012: Analysis & Outlook,” available at http://www.slideshare.net/rajeshdgr8/social-media-india-2012 from www.indiasocial.in, accessed on August 26, 2012.
  8. 8. Ibid.
  9. 9. Based on views presented in a discussion on “Rising controversies around social media,” by Dr. Cherian Samuel, IDSA, August 27, 2012.
  10. 10. Josy Joseph & Vishwa Mohan, “Panel to screen websites to weed out offensive content,” Times of India, August 24, 2012 , available at http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-08-24/internet/33365330…, accessed on August 25, 2012.
  11. 11. For more, see “Home Minister’s Statement on Net Restrictions”, Press Information Bureau, August 24, 2012, available at http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=86733 accessed on August 27, 2012.
  12. 12. Based on conversation with Josy Joseph, Editor-Special Projects, Times of India, August 26, 2012.
  13. 13. Ibid.

No, we’re not trying to censor the Internet: Sibal #Joke


New Delhi: Government has no plan to manage content on Internet but there should be a mechanism to redress complaints of aggrieved citizens, Telecom and Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal said.

He also asserted the country has the sovereign right to bring all media networks, including social media, under Indian laws.

“The government will not be involved in managing anything. We do not want to interfere, we do not want to manage but if there are citizens who are aggrieved they should have a redressal mechanism,” Sibal said during a round-table on Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules 2011.

The round-table saw participation from Members of Parliament, Internet companies and industry bodies like CII, FICCI and Assocham.

Kapil Sibal in this file photo. Naresh Sharma/Firstpost

“All networks have to be subject to Indian laws. That is are our sovereign right” he said, adding that social media also needs to work with various stakeholders to ensure that it exercises due diligence in context of content that is hosted on it.

He said the government will organise many such round- tables with participation of all stakeholders in order to evolve a consensus on the matter.

“The good part is that the government is saying that it is not looking at censorship, not looking at controlling or managing the content. I think those statements are very important,” Nasscom President Som Mittal said.

Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’ Brien said as Internet is a people’s medium so its freedom should be maintained.

He, however, added there should be a mechanism to check harmful content but states should be consulted on defining any such matter.

PTI

Snapshots- May 3, World Press Freedom Day 2012


Theme 2012:
New Voices: Media Freedom Helping to Transform Societies

World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference. Since then, 3 May, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoekis celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day. It is an opportunity to:

  • celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom;
  • assess the state of press freedom throughout the world;
  • defend the media from attacks on their independence;
  • pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

The recent uprisings in some Arab States have highlighted the power of the media, the human quest for freedom of expression and the confluence of press freedom and freedom of expression through various traditional and new media.

This has given rise to an unprecedented level of media freedom. New media have enabled civil society, young people and communities to bring about massive social and political transformations by self-organizing, and engaging the global youth in the fight to be able to freely express themselves and the aspirations of their wider communities.

Yet, media freedom is fragile, and it is also not yet within the reach of everyone. Furthermore, as more reporting is transmitted online, more and more online journalists including bloggers are being harnessed, attacked and even killed for their work.

SAFMA, SAMC appeal for safeguarding media freedom

In a joint statement issued ahead of the World Press Freedom Day which falls on May 3, the South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) and the South Asia Media Commission (SAMC) have urged governments in South Asia to safeguard the freedom of expression against repressive provisions, measures or groups.

The two media bodies termed the commemoration of this year’s Press Freedom Day, with its theme as “New Voices: Media Freedom Helping to Transform Societies,” an opportunity to celebrate the fundamental principles of media freedom. It would also serve as an occasion to evaluate media freedom, to defend the media from attacks on their independence, and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Freedom of expression is a precious right that bolsters every other freedom and provides a foundation for human dignity. Free, pluralistic and independent media is essential for exercising this right,” said SAFMA secretary-general Imtiaz Alam and SAMC president Kumar Ketkar.

The SAFMA and the SAMC called on the governments in the region to commit themselves to supporting and expanding press freedom and the free flow of information in the digital age. “New media have enabled people to bring about massive social and political transformations. Yet, media freedom is fragile, and it is also not yet within the reach of everyone. Furthermore, as more reporting is transmitted online, more and more online journalists including bloggers are being attacked and even killed for their work,” Mr. Alam and Mr. Ketkar said.

According to statistics with the two media bodies, 185 journalists have been killed since 1992 for their work. Of these, Pakistan tops the tally with 58 followed by India 39, Afghanistan 28, Sri Lanka 25, Bangladesh 18, and Nepal 17.

A free press is a form of freedom of expression, providing citizens with access to knowledge and information, thus safeguarding any political system based on the will of the people.

Photo: Reuters
Members of the media tape their mouth as they protest against the arrest of journalists in Panama. (file)

A free press is a form of freedom of expression, providing citizens with access to knowledge and information, thus safeguarding any political system based on the will of the people.  On May 3rd, we celebrate World Press Freedom Day.   It is a day to consider the importance of freedom of the press, and to remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression as stipulated in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

But Freedom of the Press Day serves not only to highlight the importance of an uncensored press: it also serves as a reminder that in dozens of countries around the world, publications are censored, fined, suspended and closed down; that in many countries, journalists, editors and publishers and bloggers are harassed, attacked, jailed and even murdered.  It aims to remind governments of the need to respect their commitment to Press Freedom, and to journalists

This day also serves as a reminder to professionals of their responsibility to society, and of the importance of maintaining professional ethics. It is a day of support for media which are targets for the censorship, or abolition of press freedom. And it is also a day of remembrance for those journalists who lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

Former Philippine President Corazon Aquino once said that “Freedom of the press guarantees popular participation in the decisions and actions of government, and popular participation is the essence of democracy.”

A free press is sometimes called the Fourth Pillar of Democracy.  That is because a free press reports abuses of power by public officials.  It shines a spotlight on government decision makers and those who influence them.  It keeps the citizens informed of news critical of the government, gives them the opportunity to exchange information and opinions about public affairs without interference by government officials. It spurs them into pressuring the government to right wrongs.

As one-time U.S. Supreme Court Judge Felix Frankfurter once said, “Freedom of the press is not an end in itself but a means to the end of [achieving] a free society.”

A silent press means the end of democracy.

Call for code of ethics for citizen journalism

The theme for this year’s World Press Freedom day is “New Voices: Media Freedom Helping to Transform Societies”.

In the open letter, Smith and Achtelstetter draw attention to the transformative power of new media technologies and social media. They cite the ongoing uprisings in the Middle-East which highlight “the potential of citizen journalism to counter attacks on freedom of expression and freedom of the press.”

However, they caution that while emerging media technologies and social media platforms offer new channels for increased information flows and strengthening communication rights, using them demands greater responsibility. “Part of that responsibility is developing and adapting professional standards to guide journalistic practice,” they say.

WACC believes that freedom of expression and freedom of the press are basic human rights. Media independence and pluralism strengthen democratic processes and promote both government accountability and citizen participation. WACC’s new Strategic Plan 2012-2016 focuses especially on the role communication rights play in giving voice to poor, marginalized, excluded and dispossessed people and communities.

Read full letter here

‘Censorship on Journalists a Threat to Democracy’

New Delhi, May 2 (IANS): Violence and censorship against mediapersons are a “threat” to democracy and also constrains their ability to operate freely, an international body of journalists said Wednesday.The Commonwealth Journalists Association (CJA) also condemned state repression against media in countries like Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

“Without a free press and freedom of expression, governments can impose bad policy and abuse power with impunity,” said Rita Payne, president of CJA, underlining the consensus at a meet on ‘Threats to Democracy’.

Violence and censorship remains an everyday threat for many journalists and such constraints their ability to operate, the CJA said in a statement to mark World Press Freedom Day May 3.

“The CJA unanimously condemns instances of state repression against media reported out of Pakistan, Sri Lanka and some African member states of the Commonwealth,” Payne said.

“With some Commonwealth countries, including India and Pakistan resisting a draft UN Action Plan on safety of journalists, the CJA warned that democracy itself is under threat due to constraints on the ability of journalists to operate,” she added.

Putting action to words, the CJA has endorsed the Table Mountain Declaration, aimed at abolishing criminal defamation and promoting a free press in Africa.

In 2011, 179 journalists were imprisoned worldwide, up from 145 the previous year while another 67 were killed last year; 17 more so far this year. They were murdered, killed on dangerous assignments or died in crossfire, Payne said.

Pakistan is rated among the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists. South Africa has enacted strict censorship measures that limit reporting on corruption and attempt to control the press.

The CJA’s efforts are global, with its branches in Pakistan, Sarawak, Uganda, Cameroon, India and Britain among those holding educational workshops and awareness-raising events to mark World Press Freedom Day.

“It is time for all Commonwealth countries to uphold the same values of a civil society. The onus here is on governments. Press freedom and freedom of speech must be protected and promoted,” Payne said.

Raise your voice against Internet Censorship #FOE #FOS


Information Technology Act , 2011 has put your freedom of speech in danger.

Inline image 5

Intermediary sites like Facebook and Blogger are now compelled to delete your account on any single complaint

Inline image 6

Indian Government wants to control your most powerful weapon, the social media.

Inline image 8

Many Facebook pages and blogs have been deleted, next may be yours.

Inline image 9

This the murder of your freedom of speech.

Inline image 13

But remember, freedom of speech is your fundamental right.

Inline image 12

And it’s your duty to raise voice for your fundamental rights.

just visit…
http://www.it2011.in
…and sign the petition to support the annulment motion against IT Act, 2011 in Rajyasabha.

Wishing Kapil Sibal a Happy 1st of April


 

Newsclick, 1 April, 2012

Newsclick is joining other activists and websites in wishing Kapil Sibal a happy April Fool’s Day. Not because he is being foolish in trying to censor the net, but because he is being too clever by half. Which amounts to the same thing.

Sibal is one of country’s leading lawyers and as the Minister of Information Technology, we would have thought the right person to create an enlightened legal framework for the Internet. But instead of taking the high road — what is an appropriate legal regime for the Internet which would allow the growth of new media and new Internet business models, Sibal chose to take the low road — how can the ruling party police the net in its own interest. This is what explains his calling various Internet platforms and Social Media sites and asking them to take down material that is derogatory to the Congress leaders; or else. If we believe the newspaper reports, his message was frank and brutal. Here is material on the net for which we can “get” you and here is material that we do not want. And here is the quid pro quo, take down one on your own what we don’t want and we will protect you on the other. If you don’t, we will see you are in trouble.

Of course we all know that Internet has material that violates Indian laws. Some of it is legal in other countries. The power of Internet is that it is one common cyberspace, the net does not fragment into Indian net, the Chinese net, the US net and so on. If we want the net to obey only our laws, it means creating an Indian net and seceding from the rest. Something the Chinese seem to be trying, though with only limited success. So here was an opportunity — create a legal regime for the net which would allow its current free character and yet take out or block material that we consider illegal. If India wanted to go down this path, this would have been indeed welcome. And it would have joined a number of countries that are grappling with this very issue.

Sibal chose to take another path. He thought that the ambiguity of law that exists on the net could be used to the advantage of the ruling party. The Internet platforms — social networking sites, Google and its search engine, blogging sites — are all intermediaries. They and the Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) provide our access to the net. So if he could make these players carry out his wishes, he could create a China like Internet without the Government having to do anything — the Internet platforms and ISP’s would do it for him. A Chinese model of control with a distinctive Indian twist — the markets could be used to do the Government’s bidding — private censorship carried out at Government’s behest.

Google and Facebook are there for making money from their users. For them, every user of their platforms are “products” to be sold to advertisers. This is the same as the Television channels — more the eyeballs more the advertisers are willing to pay. So Sibal’s calculation was given the size of the Indian market, these players would cave in and privately censor the net for him. Freedom on the net is not what drives the Internet platforms — they have their business to protect.

The problem for the Internet platforms  is that what Sibal is asking is completely arbitrary — how will they as private parties take down material that Sibal might think is bad? Who would tell them to take down material and how would this be communicated?And if they accept this for India, would they in turn have to do it for other countries as well. They would have to develop country specific tools –  for example no general search engine but only a country specific one. A regime that would not work in the long run even as a business. For them, the operational difficulties make such a regime unworkable.

Sibal and his net czar, a Gulshan Rai in the Department of IT obviously believe all this is easy. It is in line with a similar understanding that Pakistan Government has — it has recently advertised for a software tool that is capable of filtering out up to 50 million Web addresses in multiple languages with a processing delay of one millisecond. In other words a godlike censor! What Sibal is trying is that all ISP’s Internet platforms does what Pakistan Government wants but at their own cost.

Leaving aside who develops it, is such a filtering scheme feasible? This is where technology has to meet law — we need a legal regime that understands the limits of technology. Not one where we say this is the law as we see it and technology can go hang itself.

All new technologies create new legal issues. The legal problems of the Internet is the result of new digital technologies..The Internet is new and so is user generated content. It has created a scenario in which we no longer need mass media to reach the people. If the message strikes a resonance, the people will amplify the message.  It is not the only area — copyright regime is also affected by digital technologies. We either modify the laws or create new laws to deal with such issues. This is the only sensible option a country has today. An option that Sibal did not exercise.

That is why we are all wishing him a Happy April Fool’s Day.

Join the Campaign ” Save your Voice “