Saturday, June 09, 2007

Orkut Mania: The Chirkuttian Indian reponse

Orkut is a word (more than a word, I know) we are all familiar with. Over the past two years, the spread of orkut in my immediate world has been quiet comprehensive and at times scary (Issue of privacy). It has filled a void, we, of the impressionable ages had in our lives. It has been used for benefits, for fettering away time and for all other purposes that you can conjure up. One of consequences is the orkut mania that has probably swept the Indian hinterland for the simple reason that for single people there is no societal world to dip into unless it is the socially sanctioned ones like families and the socially frowned one of friends and classmates. While concerns may be raised about how some people spend too much of their time on orkut, it is fool hardy for the courts in India and political parties to take cognisance of the social networking site and demand its prohibition. However, that is exactly this land of the Mahatma, Lord Buddha and all the necessary civilisational ethos that India is said to carry, appears to be doing.

The man who wants to shut down,, June 08, 2007
Abhijit Panse, president of the Bharatiya Vidyarthi Sena, the Sena's student wing, and the party members are discussing how to tackle Orkut, the networking site. The Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Sena ransacked cybercafes in Kalyan, outside Mumbai, for allowing browsers to access Orkut. What incenses Panse and other BVS leaders is that groups have been formed on Orkut to spread "hatred among Indians", in particular spewing venom about Chhatrapati Shivaji and Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray. Some mischief-mongers have also started a 'I hate India' campaign on Orkut and they want to disturb the communal harmony in our country," says Panse."We have time and again raised this issue but nothing is being done about it so we feel the best solution would be to ban Orkut in India," he adds.

When pointed out that the Internet is a free medium and there is no way for him to prevent someone sitting in, say, Australia to post anti-India messages, he said, "I know this. Our software engineers are working on this front and we will track down such people. If that person is even sitting in America we will go and thrash that person. We want to catch hold of such culprits who do such things and thrash them." Pointed out that Orkut had plenty of anti-America messages, Panse says, "It can be their culture to criticise their leaders but it is not our culture to disrespect our idol, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. He is like God to us. We cannot tolerate insults on him or Balasaheb Thackeray."

Social networking? Cops are watching you,, November 30, 2006
Fan clubs, which idolise underworld dons on social networking web sites, have run afoul of the city police who plan to closely monitor the content and the members of these communities. "Though nobody has complained to us, we fear that the communities would be misused by organised crime syndicates. Moreover, there are thousands of members of communities devoted to dons," said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Detection) Dhananjay Kamlakar.There are eight fan clubs devoted to underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and one each dedicated to Chhota Rajan, Chhota Shakeel and Abu Salem on alone. A public interest litigation has also been filed in the Bombay High Court asking for a ban on Orkut for hosting the anti-Shivaji community. Earlier, while hearing another PIL, the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court had issued a notice to the government about the presence of a community titled 'I hate India' on the same site.

File reply on plea for ban on Orkut: HC,, November 23, 2006
The Bombay high court on Thursday asked the state government to file its reply in connection with a petition demanding a ban on social networking site, Orkut, for hosting an anti-Shivaji Web community. In his Public Interest Litigation in the court, Subodh Balsaraf, a Thane resident, has contended that Orkut used "slang, rude and vulgar language" about the great Maratha king Shivaji. The community had been blocked by the Pune police after a few violent incidents were reported in the city when its existence came to light two weeks ago. Though the community is currently inaccessible, the petitioner has demanded that Orkut, which has captured the fancy of many Indians, be banned.

Trust the most regressive and the most criminal elements to come up with such a dazzling show of patriotism. The Shiv Sena thrives on such censorship as do all hate mongering parties. They see a reflection of themsleves in those "I hate communities", funny they only point out India, Shiva Sena and Shivaji as hate targets which are problems. How about stopping all hate communities in the world and more importantly out of their own manifestos?

This is the dementia that threatens to destory our world, not juvenile communities on orkut. A bunch of trigger happy men who want to police others and force their choices on the rest.Why should we take it? What gives him the moral authority to appropriate India or Shivaji? The answer is simple, they can come and thrash me as the great man mentions.

Not to forget that our courts, over burdened with cases which has millions of undertrials awaiting their cases but the courts are more interested in orkut, in morality.

What a bunch of morons these guys are. And what bigger fools of us that some of these people actually govern us and pass judgements on issues that affect our daily lives.

Chirkut is non-dictionary hindi word often used in Utter Pradesh and Bihar (two states from India) to praise a person for being loser, stupid and dullard. Recently our favorite politicians have accepted this word as an integral part of their performance appraisal system. (Interested people can read, “So what if am a ‘chirkut’?” by Samajwadi party’s Amar Singh).


AjiNIMC said...

Did you read my latest post on Orkut - Orkut Banned in India

Thanks for a consolidated post.

Ashok said...

Ah. No worries. Mr Phanse's "group" of room temperature IQ software gurus is writing "software" to block phrases like "I despise" etc.

Abhigyan said...

Quite a neat post...I also have very strong feelings about all the intolerance, and increasing frustration about our tolerance for the same. Sometimes its Husain, sometimes SRT, sometime Ash..and unlike most other social ills we suffer from, this definitely affects us...

Point to consider - if the executive (police ) and the judiciary sort of empathise, what can be the action-points?

aya said...

one of the prof who taught us the cyber space law said the benefit of freedom of speech is more important than a control of hate speech. ( He was supporting a verdict which frees a server from paying lots of money to the plaintif who claims that the server is responsible for allowing to post hate speech on its website.)

It did sound unreasonable in the first place but I guess....any control can eventually lead control of freedom of speech itself...

But...the assumption can be work under an assumption that we all are rational.....

a difficult question