Internet Evolution Turns into Internet Revolution in India

First, it was the E-mail and chat which had driven people to the internet cafes in India. Now, the Internet growth in India is being driven by some new and innovative applications such as blogs, P2P, video-on-demand and online gaming.

Now, people are being more Internet savvy than ever before. The numbers of Internet users has touched 3.7 crore mark in September 2006. It was at 3.3 crore in March in 2006.

According to a joint study by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International, the number of active users has risen to 2.5 crore in September from 2.11 crore in March. The study also predicted that Internet user base will touch 4 crore mark by March 2007.

The survey was conducted on 16,500 households, covered 65,000 persons in 26 metro cities and small towns in India. The ten thousand business and 250 cyber cafe owners are additional in the study. However, the rural areas were excluded in the study.

The survey says that Indian youth are the main Internet users. The smaller cities are increasingly becoming the part of the Internet evolution in India. Smaller cities and towns have shown a whopping 142 per cent per year growth.

The poor infrastructure in the rural part of India is the biggest hurdle that is restricting the Internet expansion in India.

The government of India is working for the rural-connectivity through Internet but the slow implementation of the government projects in rural areas, illiteracy, electricity problem and lack of awareness among rural youth creates the main obstacle.

India is No China!

Some twenty websites are blocked by ISPs in India and online bloggers started loosing patience on the issue. Let me summarize the responses over the issues –

Nowpublic.com says one wishes that this kind of alacrity and adeptness had been displayed in arresting terrorism and their nefarious activities, this past decade or more The humiliating juncture of having to curb/stifle the voices of well meaning citizens would not have arisen!

Blogherald.com says I can understand China blocking blogs. I can understand North Korea blocking blogs. To a certain degree, I can understand some middle eastern countries blocking some blogs. But India? Give me a break.

Duncanriley.com
says that is India the new china?

Sepia mutiny
says under the title ‘the terrorists have won’.


Shivamvij.com
targets the government officials for not answering his call on the matter of blocking the websites.


Boingboing.net
went one step further, one of the blogger Manish says that The block is still spreading through Indian ISPs. This recalls Pakistan’s Blogspot ban during the Danish cartoon controversy and India’s Yahoo Groups ban in ‘03 to shut down a separatist forum.

Now have a look on the views of withandwithout.com who says that there is something so surprising about this act of censorship and people took a much little time to react to it.
Let me explain the view of the government as well- look at some websites, which have been blocked

# www.Dalitstan.org
# www.Clickatell.com
# www.Hinduhumanrights.org
# www.Hinduunity.com.
# www.Hinduunity.org
# www.hinduhumanrights.org
# www.princesskimberley.com
# www.bloodspot.com
# www.dalitstan.org
# www.clickatell.com
# www.blogspot.com
# www.geocities.com
# www.typepad.com


Indian express
writes the most bothered Internet users were the bloggers, who are unable to access Blogspot.com, Typepad.com or Geocities.com pages.

It says that the order posed technical problems that resulted in a blanket ban on all blogs. According to Neha Viswanathan, Regional Editor, South Asia, Globalvoicesonline.org from London,

You cannot block a single page on blogspot.com, which is why all of them are getting blocked.

The Indian order was issued on July 13, however, the Computer Emergency Response Team (India), part of a global cyber-security network did not yet officially announce the ban.

R Grewal, a spokesperson for Spectranet has confirmed

We received a list of over 20 websites to block from the Department of Telecom, and this Blogspot.com was one of them.

According to government officials, it appears that, all the websites blocked are said to express “extreme religious views.”

Government sources confirmed late in the evening that some websites have been blocked based on police reports that they were fuelling hatred. They denied that the Mumbai blasts had anything to do with censorship and that security checks on the blocked sites were on since before the terrorist attacks.More sites ordered blocked by the government, including Hindutva ones, surprisingly.

I am always an anti-censorship folk. Ultimately it’s about boundaries. But inspite of reacting so harshly we should try to find out the reason behind that. It’s still not clear if the government wanted a few blogspot blogs blocked (more likely) or wanted a blanket block. People started comparing India with China, North Korea and middle eastern countries, these all sound rubbish completely. This is the kind of over-reaction.

Never mind the fact that India can have free and fair elections. In the end, the venture capitalists maybe taking a very close look at what the IT policy of a country says about the country’s aspirations for its citizens, international relations and its economic future.

One better thing would have been done in spite of directing ISPs, the government should have asked Google to block these sites. Google regularly removes sites on Blogspot if they do not adhere to its policies. If it helps, Google has a marketing office in New Delhi.

On the legal side, according to the Information Technology Act, 2000 web sites might be blocked if they contain pornography, speeches of hate, contempt, slander or defamation, or if they promote gambling, racism, violence or terrorism.

According to Praveen Dalal, a cyber-law expert, such sites may be blocked within the provisions of the Fundamental Right to free speech and expression granted in India’s Constitution.

The main trouble is that the ‘respected’ bloggers don’t even know the details of sites the DoT wants blocked. They started making such a hue-n-cry.

To make matters even more badly, ISPs seem to be blocking entire domains on which these blogs are hosted.

11 Million Americans Don’t Know English

A revelation: “All developing and underdeveloped countries have a large number of illiterates!” You are neither surprised nor amused…I bet! “Revelation? Joking or what…!” you might say. And why should you be? It’s been a Third World truth since ages. But what if you were to hear that 11 million Americans can’t read English? You might say again, “Joking or what?” But this time, it’s a TRUTH.

This graph depicts results of a survey conducted in 1998

Howsoever incredible it may sound, the fact remains that one out of every 20 American adults can’t make out the head and tail of English language, leave apart English literature, according to a federal study conducted recently. This means that no less than 11 million Americans are unfit for performing even everyday tasks.

The survey studied a varied sample of 19,000 adults, who are living in homes, college hostels and even those behind the bar. As many as 30 million adults have “below basic” skills in English language. Their ability is so limited that they may not be able to make sense of a simple pamphlet, for example. However, those declared “illiterates” in the study include those, who may be well-versed with Spanish or any other foreign language but are unable to comprehend texts in English.

Estimated World Illiteracy Rates, 2000

Illiteracy is a blot for any progressive society, and more so in case of America, the “Global Superpower” (sounds hollow, no?). There must be something seriously wrong with the system of that country where a sizeable number of people don’t know even their mother tongue that also happens to be the world’s lingua franca, incidentally.

Will you do something about it, Mr. Bush? At least, do give some thought to the issue if at all you get some free time after bothering for the rest of the world!

Also Check Out: Projected World Illiteracy Rate – 1970 to 2015

India Cannot Afford to Be ‘Left’ out

The Left Front of India comprising Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Communist Party of India (CPI), Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and Forward Bloc has made it a point to criticize India whenever there is a whiff of India collaborating with the West especially the US. (Read news report).

However, the Left fails to see the gains India likely to make with being in the right side of US which is the only superpower in the world today. In a rapidly changing world, India can not afford to end up in the losing side as happened with the Cold War. Besides, both the US and India have common values like democracy, secularism, freedom of expression and issues ranging from all across the board. India can not place its bet on support from volatile nations like Iran (who was snubbed in the recent IAEA vote by India much to the Left’s dismay) and to some extent Russia (that was recently ranked as a state that is dangerously close to fail).

The Left should appreciate the fact that in the present world, both the US and India have common enemies in the form of terrorists and terror sponsoring nations. With the US by its side, it can at least tackle the Pakistani military junta that is actively engaged in anti-India terror campaign and the growing military power of China.

Then, there are other major issues India need to tackle. With being an US ally, it can gain major technological knowledge in fields of cutting-edge research, agriculture, nuclear power, aero-space etc. Without this, India’s overall development will be jeopardized and the dream of seeing India as a major economic and military power and becoming a developed nation in next 15-20 years would just remain so – a dream.

Enough is Enough! India Should Follow the Israeli Doctrine Against Terror

1. Why terrorists dare? What makes the terrorists think that it can carry out beastly attacks against India like the one in Delhi on Oct 29 at will, whenever and however it wishes? India has been in the receiving end of terrorism from the early 80s and it has only increased in intensity ever since. India has been one of the worst victims of terror with over 25,000 deaths in the last decade alone.

2. Victims & failure of current stance against terror. Caught in the crossfire between the security personnel and the terrorists are innocent civilians in areas of low intensity conflict like Kashmir and the North East. What have we achieved against this unabated campaign of terror perpetrated by Pakistan using diabolical criminals and psychopaths? We continue to bleed and the end to this bloodshed is nowhere in sight. No matter how many terrorists are killed by our security forces, we know that the terror-cadre supply is endless. As soon as one is eliminated, the next one in the queue fills in the vacancy. Also there is no dearth of resources in this Pakistan State-sponsored religio-narco terror campaign against India.

A terror training camp in Pakistan

3. Why Israel is so successful against terrorist? Israel’s former Prime Minister Shimon Peres, when on a visit to India a few years back, paraphrased the justification of Israel’s heavy-handedness against terrorists in this way – ‘You can’t negotiate with terrorists. They would simply outmaneuver you on the table. They really don’t have any agenda; their only aim is to bring about death and destruction to innocent people and spread terror and hatred amongst people. The only way to deal with this is to use maximum force possible and eliminate the terror masterminds’.

Azhar Masood being released in Kandahar

4. India is a soft state. What have India done so far in eliminating the so-called terror masterminds? We have on the contrary bowed down as a soft nation to terrorists’ demands like releasing dreaded terrorists to secure the release of a minister’s daughter who was kidnapped, or to secure the release of the passengers in a hijacked plane. For about 150 passengers’ lives, we released people like Azhar Masood who went ahead to form a terror outfit like Jaish-e-Mohammed resulting in thousands of Indian deaths since then. Wall Street journalist Daniel Pearl was beheaded in video by another released.

Dawood Ibrahim

5. Futility of talks with Pakistan & depending on the West. We have continued talks with Pakistani puppet leaders and dictators who run the terror factory against India. This is not going to bring any end to this bloody campaign. We know that the West (especially Uncle Sam) is not going to be by our side against Pakistan as the bland message from the White House suggests that condemned the Delhi attacks but without making Pakistan accountable for harbouring criminals like Masood and Dawood.

6. Need of the hour. India should stop all these futile and resource-consuming talks with Pakistan, should have an (Israel-like) elimination policy of terror heads even if it means going deep inside Pakistan or Pakistan-controlled parts of Kashmir and bring about a legislation akin to that of the new Homeland Security laws in the US. That might bring some discomfort to ordinary citizens, but if it saves a few lives, it would be more than worth it.

It is high time India shows that ordinary Indian lives would come at a very high price for Pakistan and its agents of terror.