Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Is This Right?

Supreme Court declined legal protection (from TOI) to 19 year old Ajith D for creating a community on Orkut where offensive comments were put in by anonymous users.

SC says:

"We cannot quash criminal proceedings. You are a computer student and you know how many people access internet portals. Hence, if someone files a criminal action on the basis of the content, then you will have to face the case. You have to go before the court and explain your conduct."

There is huge uproar against the ruling citing that this is against Freedom of Expression. I was of the same opinion to an extent till Sanjukta took a dig at me and convinced that online media is no different from print media.

While completely understand that libel, slander and defamation is not the way to go about it, I am not sure if verdict comes out as a very positive thing for the common man let alone the bloggers. There are political party leaders out there making inflammatory speech, instigating feelings that can disrupt communal harmony and case filed against them does not go anywhere but under the huge stack of case files that would be dug out in another 10 years. They roam around scot-free after getting bail within minutes of case being filed (and in quite a few cases, even before case is filed).

I quote what Sanjukta wrote on her post:
"This nation has more important issues to handle than to curb a handful of Bloggers freedom"
The context of this statement was different, but I want to put it other way round.

Yes there are bigger issues to be handled ...

There are cases of heinous crimes still lying out there not being touched. High profile corruption cases are still being heard. Discussions are still on to see how and when the terrorist who went ballistic on the streets of Mumbai on 26/11, should be tried and prosecuted. Court cases running for 13 years and then the accused is sentenced for 3 years jail.

There is frustration ... Huge amounts of it ...

It comes out as if law is applicable only to common man who cannot get diplomatic or legal defense easily. Displeasure and frustration sky rocketing because the real issues are not being addressed at the grass root level instead of wasting time on Ajith's case. Anti social and anti secular elements are roaming free.

Am I surprised by the reaction from Indian Blogosphere? - NO !!!

Am I hurting "public sentiment" right now? 

Disclaimer: I strongly oppose creation of hate communities and usage of abusive language on any media. For the same reason, I do not support what Ajith did.