A long time back I stood up to the establishment first with the creation of a certain Savita Bhabhi, and then with the fight to keep her alive when the government decided to step in and ban her. At that time I was forced to back down.
Looking back to that confrontation, one of the reasons I did not fight as zealously as I could was because of my belief that the discrimination was only against one site, Savita Bhabhi. I could not be more wrong.
As history as shown time and again backing down to an oppressor does not appease but rather emboldens them to want more. Yesterday it was Savita Bhabhi, today it is the very premise of a free internet that they want to take away from us.
The year 2012 might not fulfil its Mayan prophecy of the end of the world, but it might as well be the year in which the freedom of the internet began its demise. With the SOPA law in the US and our own IT (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules 2011 this year could be the beginning of the end.
However we all have an opportunity right now to stand up and fight against the powers that be taking away our most basic right of freedom of speech. In the US a coalition of sites including Wikipedia will be blacked out for 24 hours as a sign of protest against SOPA.
In solidarity with that action and more importantly as an attempt to raise awareness of the attempt to damage internet freedom in India, our site Kirtu.com will do the same exactly one week later. On the 25th of January 2012, the Kirtu.com homepage will be blacked out for an entire day. In its place will be information about the new act and a way to join the protest against it. We will be linking to a petition floated by Avaaz.org against this new act and hopefully we can add to the approximately 20,000 Indian netizens who have already begun campaigning against a violation of their civil rights.
Perhaps Savita Bhabhi & Kirtu might end up being the lone voice, but perchance maybe other sites will join in. This could be the needed revolution that just could save India from becoming another China.
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