(This first appeared in the Sunday Guardian)
It’s that time of the month again, when the UPA government tries to cancel the country’s Internet connection. While trying to handle another national crisis, the UPA, – spoiler alert! – made its 43225428746543th historic blunder, cementing its status as India’s #1 comedy troupe. Faced with a serious show of no-confidence in the government apparatus by thousands of citizens fleeing back to the North East, the government performed it’s favourite form of exercise: doing too little too late and using the opportunity to settle its own scores.
First they oppose you, then they arrest you and then you turn into a popular public figure. The UPA has made a career of turning molehills into mountains. They are more paranoid than a person tripping on LSD who thinks that he just saw a unicorn. After spending the whole of last year turning every political opponent into a public martyr, they are now focussing all their energies feeding the persecution complex of people on the Internet.
As of the time of writing this article, the government continued to block various websites and twitter accounts belonging to people unsympathetic to their cause. Most of these had nothing to do with the recent crisis. Of course, since it was the UPA, the block was easily circumvented. They are not some sinister genius hell bent on world domination but a bunch of incompetent nincompoops who are led by a man who has spoken less words than a monk meditating in an undiscovered Himalayan mountain for the past two hundred years. They cannot be relied upon to even do something wrong properly.
They tell us that India is under the most dangerous cyber attack since the founding of the republic and the best defence they can come up with is blocking twitter accounts of people whose views they don’t subscribe to? How can we expect them to preserve the ‘integrity & sovereignty’ of the country if they can’t take a couple of jokes from some guy on the Internet? How do they conduct diplomatic negotiations, by holding their breath until the other side acquiesces to their demands?
Almost all our ‘political parties’ are really just cults with political power. Their only purpose of existence is to keep their infallible prophet-in-chief happy. All’s well that ends with a smile on the face of the ‘high command.’ None of them are really adept at handling any sort of criticism. Nor do they care what the people really think about them. And they’re going to do anything to make sure you keep your opinions to yourself. If they can’t buy you, they’ll bully you. If they can’t bully you, they’ll give you things to be worried about. If they can’t distract you, they can always call you an anti-national seditionist. And if that also doesn’t work, they can simply make you go away. Permanently.
Political parties are not the only ones who would like people on the Internet to put a sock in it. Recently, even Sagarika Ghose, a human person with less functional grey cells than the Pillsbury Doughboy, called for censorship of ‘social media.’ She’s not the only one. Even her counterpart on NDTV, the one who pretends to be the greatest thing to happen to Indian journalism since Huen-Tsang - because she once went to an army outpost during a war and binged on the soldiers’ limited rations – isn't a big fan of people who don’t possess a fancy journalism degree and yet still insist on having opinions. Not that any of our ‘news anchors’ report the news anymore. All we get is the same bunch of people saying the same things to each other in the same passive aggressive manner. It’s not news unless it can be shown with scary music playing in the background. Hey people starving in villages without electricity, if you want people to pay attention to you, invade the Indo-Chinese border. Why leave the studio when you can keep talking and still say nothing all day long? People love to watch a condescending asshole talk down to them, don’t they?
Trying to censor the Internet is like trying to put humpty dumpty back together again. If all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t do it, then you can’t either, ‘esteemed’ members of the establishment. Being on the Internet is like being trapped with a bunch of monkeys in a cage. You can duck all you want, but one of these days you’re going to end up with shit on your face. The best you can do is to wipe it off and hope that no one figures out where the stench is coming from.