Hanging the hashtag #Censorship #FOE #FOS #internetfreedom


Abhijit Majumder, Hindustan Times
August 28, 2012
And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars; see that ye be not troubled – Jesus Christ

It is embarrassing now, and after a few years, it may be even more embarrassing to be reminded of this moment. To be reminded that some of us journalists had actually campaigned for


State censorship. This is perhaps unprecedented in the history of journalism.

In the last few days, some senior journalists have persistently called for “regulation” of social media, the bewildering organism that wouldn’t stop growing. They have, by accident or design, allied with a bungling and cornered government.

Together, the government and the journalists have blamed rumour-mongering on social media for the spread of violence in the country over the Northeast riots. They cited it to call for what they termed “limited censorship” on Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites.

The government, emboldened and pleasantly surprised to suddenly have a section of the media co-cheering its little autocratic project, first went about reportedly blocking half a dozen spoofs of the PM and the PM’s office. For instance, the parody handle, @PM0India, which tweeted uncharitable stuff about the PM and the Congress, was blocked. Indians apparently are so dim that they might believe our PM takes potshots at himself on Twitter the whole day.

But beneath the veneer of self-righteous disapproval of “hate propaganda”, the government and the senior journalists possibly have a far more earthy and personal reason to unite against social media: insult.

A small but vocal section of Twitter users, known as trolls direct abuses at public personalities. Technology has provided a ‘Block’ button to deal with this bunch, and commonsense supplements it with an invisible ‘Ignore’ button. But for champions of censorship, those are not enough. They are fed up with 24X7 barrage of abuse, and the NE threats, rumours and violence gives them a perfect opportunity to turn their attention from the hatemongers in the real world to the delinquents of the virtual world.

Here are some thoughts on the rationale presented for censorship:

* No social media, no rumours? Bombay, Gujarat, Sikh riots and other cases of mass violence did not need social media to spread. In Bombay ’93, I remember a short, swift rumour blazing across the city before the backlash to the Radhabai chawl killings began: ‘Bal Thackeray arrested.’ Twitter and Facebook were not even conceived then; SMS was just out of science’s womb. Lord Ganesh started drinking milk on September 21, 1995, long before TV reporters could rub sleep out of their eyes. The media had to scramble to capture the mysteriously speedy rumours; rumours didn’t follow the media. During the Arab Spring, every dictator from Hosni Mubarak to Ben Ali tried to stifle social media, only to fail and attract more popular wrath.

* Don’t shoot the medium: You can’t ban aeroplanes after an air crash. You can’t attack a knife because you cut your finger in the kitchen. Similarly, you can’t go putting virtual terrain out of bounds because some use it irresponsibly.

* You don’t make the law here: A newspaper or channel sells information to an audience under well-defined social, ethical, legal and commercial contracts. But social media is not bound by such understanding. You may ignore every word of it. It has still not been conclusively established whether social media is in the public or private domain or in a strange twilight zone. It doesn’t and won’t ever play by your rules. If you still want to punish somebody for abuse or defamation, sue them.

* Hunt for terrorists, not trolls: We should have robust intelligence presence on social media, look out for the real troublemakers who are planning attacks against the nation.

* Take lampooning with a laugh: The art of lampooning is the sign of an evolved society. And the even the most obnoxious verbal abuse is not reason enough for the government to step in as the bully. The Queen inspires at least two dozen spoof accounts. Each funnier than the other, sometimes nasty, but we know it is not the Queen tweeting.

* Rage vs Insecurity: Social media uses its teeth of direct feedback pretty ruthlessly. It may be uninformed, rabid, harbouring a sly agenda and abusive, but it constantly challenges mainstream media’s own commercial and political agendas, slants, political correctness. To journalists’ dismay as well as delight, it even breaks news. While this turf war for information is inevitable, the two are destined to co-exist. While social media is here for good, large and credible news organisations will exist because gathering, presenting and legally defending news is very expensive.

* Give a finger, they’ll want arm: Once you ally with the government on censoring any kind of media, it is not going to stop there. It is going to come and bite you some day. Popular tweeter @FakingNews nicely twists Pastor Martin Niemoller’s lines on Nazis in today’s Indian context: “First they came for those who I considered bigots, and I didn’t speak out because I thought I wasn’t a bigot.”

Celebrities, politicians, journalists thronged to social media, petted it, earned the following of lakhs. It is when they wanted it to feed off their hands that they discovered a very different animal, one with tantalising contradictions – moody and constant, funny and angry, fawning and sarcastic, all-knowing and uninformed, sycophantic and abusive at the same time. The only place where you get ‘irreverent followers’.

Pop group One Direction’s Zayn Malik recently quit Twitter “sick of all the useless opinions”. So did singer Miley Cyrus and Press Council of India’s boss Justice Markandey Katju. Many more may follow them.

This creature called social media is way beyond our individual or institutional control. Because this creature is us.

TATADOCOMO #censorship on wordpress- step by step guide #FOE

So how is the censorship of TATA working on wordpress blogs, for last one week for me . I do not know If   I was lucky to leave my wordpress.blog,  logged on my laptop hence  I can pen the link  http://wordpress.com/#!/post/ it opens and then this is what happens , have a look yourself




So now,  I cannot see the post on my blog, i copy the url link and post on egroups, Fb and other forums to share . the tagging does not work and now once published i cannot edit, its gone after i click publish button, my own post is inaccessible to me . The dashboard, never ever opens, only the stats and write post, the first pic which you sees above opens.

So i wonder technically its complete block, and that might be intentional to say that atleats 50 % functions can be performed and its a technical snag on Tata’s part, just thinking from devil Tata’s mind :-).

I have sent my compliant to Tata, you can see here https://www.facebook.com/notes/kamayani-bali-mahabal/complaint-to-tatadocmo-on-the-blanket-ban-on-wordpresscom/10152072518095179

Now i await their reply !!!

suggestions, comments welcome :-)- although i will nto be able to approve thanks to censorship but i will be able to read them


My Scream at #Tatadocomo- KNOCK KNOCK-KOI HAI ?


 EMAIL SENT TO –csmumbai@tatatel.co.in



Complaint Dept


Tata Docmo


Dated- 27th August 2012


Sub- Inaccessibility of  my blog for last five days



 This is to inform you that for the last 5 days, I am unable to update or add content to any of my four blogs , namely  


 http://fassmumbai.wordpress.com/  ,-




hosted on the wordpress domain or even create a brand new blog . This is a complete violation of my fundamental rights accorded to me under the constitution of India.



While the Government of India may have requested for the blocking of some sub domains like xyx.wordpress.com, you have gone into overdrive and blocked all the sub domains or blogs hosted on WordPress, which is the most common free publishing software on the Internet. 


There ahs been no official statement from your side on the ban,  and when trying your toll free numbers I have been in a circus for last 5 days.


When  I call 1800-266-121,  after following all instructions of one of your animated voices and am asked to call -toll free-1800-266-1515 and following the same animated voice instructions then  I  am asked to dial  18602-665555 and  then once again i I am asked to dial 1800-266-1515. I am not interested to play office- office with your staff. As it is the poor customer care guys somewhere in no mans land have been given lines to memorise like a parrot and speak politely and insist that what they say is right and not the customer.



Finally today, on chat support, I was graciously told by Krishna ( no pun intended)  the chat i am attaching,  when i I insisted on an email id to write to you.



I am also attaching what  I  get when i try to log on to my blogs



Now , I would like a reply in 24 hours, from now. I have already lost 5  days of my crucial work, besides the mental agony and waste of time .


Adv Kamayani Bali Mahabal


Shall we film the President ? #FOE #Censorship


Why doesn’t India make prez movies?

Priyanka Dasgupta, TNN

(Still from Politics of Love )

India doesn’t have a Presidential form of government. Censor Board of Film Certification will not clear a film about our President that’s even remotely controversial.

Indian Presidents have largely led uneventful lives that haven’t interested our directors enough to make movies on that.

The above are just three of the many reasons often put forward when asked about the conspicuous absence of any movies made on the President of our country. The only cinematic indulgence with a rashtrapati has been in the form of Kunaal Roy Kapoor’s The President is Coming starring Konkona Sen Sharma and Shernaz Patel and Subhash Kapoor’s “Phas Gaye Re Obama” starring Rajat Kapoor, Neha Dhupia and Amole Gupte. Unless, of course, one includes Mallika Sherawat’s “Politics of Love” on the unexpected romance that develops between an Indian-American, Democratic campaign worker Aretha Gupta ( Mallika Sherawat) who falls for an African-American Republican Kyle Franklin ( Brian White) before the 2008 US Presidential Election.

While Indian cinema finecombs reality to find drama in real life, those surrounding the President’s life, scandals and controversies have never been a fodder for celluloid. Forget biographical movies, we haven’t even seen any attempts like “Wag The Dog” (about how a spin-doctor and a Hollywood producer join to “fabricate” a war in order to cover-up a presidential sex scandal), “In The Line of Fire” (about a disillusioned and obsessed former CIA agent who attempts to assassinate the President of the United States and the Secret Service agent who tracks him) or “Vantage Point” (about how the attempted assassination of the American President is told and re-told from several different perspectives). Speculations are rife that Hollywood is making Reagan on the man who once co-starred with a chimp and went on to become the head of the country.

Though it’s not completely incorrect to say that Indian Presidents have largely led uneventful lives, Pranab Mukherjee nomination has been quite engaging. The will-she-won’t-she tension over Mamata Banerjee’s support, her facebook campaign for APJ Abdul Kalam and EC rejecting Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s vote in the presidential election — all that ensured that this year’s presidential poll vaults have entered drawing room conversations. Once in drawing room conversations, has the plot of making of India’s 13th President lent itself to cinema?

Says Anuvab Pal, the script writer of “The President is Coming”, “I don’t think there is anything more to add in fiction that hasn’t already been done in the press about Pranab Mukherjee’s presidential candidature. I would be interested in penning a script on Pranab Mukherjee’s difficulty as a finance minister. I generally like political stories. My new play, “The Bureaucrat”, is getting packed houses because we love to make fun of politics. People stay away from it because they feel if a politician, or party, thinks it’s a mockery of them, they might get into trouble. So, people self-censor.” Pal thinks it would be interesting to write a film on the Indira Gandhi and Giani Zail Singh relationship. “The difficulty would be to make it engaging for the youth today,” he says.

Shyam Benegal, who made a biopic on Netaji, sees no point in India aspiring to make movies on presidents simply because the West has been doing them. “We have a different form of government. Why should we ape the West? We are a nation with work in progress. If I were to make any film, it would be about the political system. If the President gets featured, it would be incidental.”

But for Goutam Ghose, who has made a documentary on Jyoti Basu, a feature film on Pranab Mukherjee is an exciting proposition. “Saying that the Censor Board will create problems or that we don’t have a Presidential form of government is just an alibi. In India Win’s Freedom, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad has argued that India wouldn’t have been divided had our country adhered to a truly federal structure. Lord Mountbatten’s mission messed up the whole thing and partition became a reality. We keep on saying that our President doesn’t have much power. But the Constitution does guarantee our President a lot of power. I’d be interested in making a movie that examines how Pranab babu, rises above the problems between the Centre and state, to truly use his power and ensure that India becomes a federal nation. A plot on how a person, who has served so many portfolios, handles power to address issues of the subaltern classes in India interests me as a director,” Ghose says.



Kractivism-Gonaimate Videos

Protest to Arrest

Faking Democracy- Free Irom Sharmila Now

Faking Democracy- Repression Anti- Nuke activists


Kamayaninumerouno – Youtube Channel


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6,228 other followers

Top Rated

Blog Stats

  • 1,841,089 hits


May 2021
%d bloggers like this: