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The Pandora’s Box opened: the IT Act 2011

May 14, 2011

After attending the conference headed by Medianama’s editor Mr. Nikhil Pahwa to discuss the new IT Act, I really appreciate the great work that they are doing to bring awareness to the general public regarding the devious way the rulings of this new Act are being formulated. Read on…

Following is an excerpt from :

The Centre for Internet and Society has published a point-by-point rebuttal of the statement issued by India’s Department of Information Technology on India’s Internet Control Rules.

In its press release on Wednesday, May 11, 2011 , the DIT stated:

The attention of Government has been drawn to news items in a section of media on certain aspects of the Rules notified under Section 79 pertaining to liability of intermediaries under the Information Technology Act, 2000. These items have raised two broad issues. One is that words used in Rules for objectionable content are broad and could be interpreted subjectively. Secondly, there is an apprehension that the Rules enable the Government to regulate content in a highly subjective and possibly arbitrary manner.

There are actually more issues than merely “subjective interpretation” and “arbitrary governmental regulation”.

  • The Indian Constitution limits how much the government can regulate citizens’ fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression. Any measure afoul of the constitution is invalid.
  • Several portions of the rules are beyond the limited powers that Parliament had granted the Department of IT to create interpretive rules under the Information Technology Act. Parliament directed the Government to merely define what “due diligence” requirements an intermediary would have to follow in order to claim the qualified protection against liability that Section 79 of the Information Technology Act provides; these current rules have gone dangerously far beyond that, by framing rules that insist that intermediaries, without investigation, has to remove content within 36-hours of receipt of a complaint, keep records of a users’ details and provide them to law enforcement officials.

So to equate the effect of these Rules to merely following ‘existing practices’ is plainly wrong. An intermediary—like the CIS website—should have the freedom to choose not to have terms of service agreements. We now don’t.

“In case any issue arises concerning the interpretation of the terms used by the Intermediary, which is not agreed to by the user or affected person, the same can only be adjudicated by a Court of Law. The Government or any of its agencies have no power to intervene or even interpret. DIT has reiterated that there is no intention of the Government to acquire regulatory jurisdiction over content under these Rules. It has categorically said that these rules do not provide for any regulation or control of content by the Government.”

The Rules are based on the presumption that all complaints (and resultant mandatory taking down of the content) are correct, and that the incorrectness of the take-downs can be disputed in court. Why not just invert that, and presume that all complaints need to be proven first?

Now coming to my take on this:

I believe that blatantly removing an individual’s post on frivolous accounts is a mighty misuse of the freedom of expression. But that said, anything that jeopardises safety of any person, group, community or country such as threats or harrassing content or content that sparks extreme communal and religious fanaticism should be brought to book.

The pen is mightier than the sword as we saw in recent times how Egypt and Libya and many such other oppressed countries could break themselves out from the shackles of dictatorial anarchy. And these positive changes are brought about only thanks to this new voice of the middle class youth that is getting a platform only due to the internet. We dont want this positive voice to be stifled and told to shut up.

So in my opinion, what we need here is a comprehensive list to be generated to classify incidents and scenarios between what is frivolous or attacks person’s freedom of expression and what can be a potential cause of extreme repulsion or hatred or fanaticism which is threat to a person or group or country.

And this list needs to be very tightly grounded on the principles of fairness and democracy in our country. Any case should be water-tight ,i.e, able to be classified as one or the other. We need the rules to be mature enough to be such. And I think there should be some way of making people realise that frivolous complainants can also be pulled up for wasting other people’s precious time. I know this last idea in itself is a double edged sword but it isnt difficult to implement if we have work done on the two specific mutually exclusive scenarios that I mentioned earlier in this paragraph.

Whats happening now is really interesting… from the Medianama article… it can be seen that the GoI is overlooking all the comments sent by Civil Society voices, Companies and Industry Experts pointing the concerns regarding the provisions of this new Act. On one hand it calls the process transparent and this is the grossly undermining the people’s voice even before the Act becomes officially enactable.

The latest on this can be found on Medianama’s site if you follow this link:

Comments are welcome guys and gals!


‘Mile Sur Mera Tumhara’..What ‘sur’?

January 30, 2010

The new ‘Mile Sur Mera Tumhara‘ is an effrontery to say the least! It depicts insolence for an otherwise noble thought. Many years back, this was the song that defined Natonal Integrity. The newer version, when watched in ‘mute’ ON, would make one wonder if it is a song that National Integrity. There are certain things that should not be attributed to glitter and glamor. National Integrity is one such thing!

While everyone that appeared in this newer version is a legend in one’s own right, it also brings out a question if the producers did not find any category other than films to depict National Integrity. Remaking songs like ”Mile Sur..” hold a much greater responsibility than what was evident from the newer version. I do not understand why, time and again, the North Eastern states are snubbed. People in Kashmir would not attribute themselves to ‘Integrity’ just because a few photos of Dal Lake were shown in the video. It would need a common sense to say that the newer one is at no par with the original version in depicting a very noble thought.

Forget about the North Eastern states, the song did not even represent the culture of the ‘Mainland’ (though I hate to use this word). I would recommend the version made by MIT students, instead. It can be found here. The producers of the new Mile Sur song could not even capture half of what the Non-Resident Indians visualized in their vide0.

I sincerely appreciate the effort of everyone who had been a part of the new ‘Mile Sur’ for their pursuit of a noble thought. But, alas! I would rather dump this noble thought than film it in a very biased way!

Before I sign-off, kudos to the Original version!!

Harsh Reality

December 10, 2009

Saw this video at IU . Really really sad. I am almost in tears 😦

You can also see the video at the original TED page.

P.S:-Yes, I haven’t posted here in a long time. But something in me, it is time, this place comes back alive.

Hot As Hell

October 23, 2009


That morning sneeze…

That morning chill in the air….

That extra laziness to get out of bed…. [extra because I feel lazy to get out of bed daily! :D]

That reluctance to wash one’s face with that cold water….

Even more reluctance to have a bath….Thank god for geyser!

Applying lots of moisturizer on dry skin and lip balm on dry lips….

Eating peas stuffed kachori, vegetable cutlets, carrots, spring onion (pyaj koli to be precise) sabzi ….

Smaller days and longer nights….

That bump in the elbow hurting real bad….

Sipping that warm coffee….

When I got up this morning, I found that winter is here already! In October!

But will it stay?

I am wondering this because the duration and the magnitude of Winter season has been decreasing every year in my town. It gets cold for two days and then again it is as hot as in summer. Last year it was proper Winter only for two weeks, that too in January. December was quite warm. All my sweaters including the Allen Solly ones which I had been waiting to show off didn’t get a chance to come out of the closet. Sigh!

Those who say global warming is a myth should come and stay in my town for a year. The temperature in summer reaches 46 deg C , the monsoon is erratic, no more 4-5 days of continuous heavy rain like we used to have many years ago, no more cold winter months and the pleasure of sleeping under quilts. And after the so called winter, its Summer again. There is no Spring practically!



I guess all of you had read several posts on October 15  about Global Warming as many bloggers had participated in Blog Action Day 2009. As I was on my Diwali vacation during that time and as I don’t think blogging about an issue should be restricted to just one day, I am blogging about it now. Moreover I have not added my blog to that website [as it asked for my password] but still I feel strongly about the issue. Today when I felt the first winter chill, I was happy!! But that happiness was short-lived as I remembered last year’s winter season and the change in my town’s climate over the past few years.

hourglass earth

Trust me, no matter how much water is found on the Moon or how many missions are sent to Mars, this is the only planet that can sustain life.

So save it while you still can. Or it will be literally hot as hell on Earth. Here a few things you can do at your level to stop global warming :-

Use Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

Inflate Your Tires

Change Your Air Filter

Use the washing machine or dishwasher only when they are full

Use Recycled Paper

Adjust Your Thermostat

Change the AC Filter

Choose products that come with little packaging and buy refills when you can

Buy fresh foods instead of frozen

Choose energy efficient appliances when making new purchases

Take a shower instead of a bath

Take Shorter Showers

Install a Low-Flow Showerhead

Defrost old fridges and freezers regularly

Buy Products Locally

Buy Minimally Packaged Goods

Cover your pots while cooking

Buy a Hybrid Car

Buy a Fuel Efficient Car

Carpool When You Can

Don’t Idle in Your Car

Reduce Garbage

Plant a Tree

Insulate Your Water Heater

Replace Old Appliances

Do not leave appliances on standby

Put on a Sweater

Insulate Your Home

Air Dry Your Clothes

Switch to a Tankless Water Heater

Switch to Double Pane Windows

Buy Organic Food

Bring Cloth Bags to the Market

Turn off Your Computer

Eat less meat

Encourage your school or business to reduce emissions

Ditch the Plastic


On a lighter note, Global Warming may be helpful to some beings after all!!


Tips taken from StopGlobalWarming.Org

Use laalten .. save Energy .. !!

October 16, 2009

Author : Harsh

There is no need reminding everyone how crucial electric power is in current scenario . Rome was not built in a day , neither will this power problem be solved in a day . It needs continous effort of all of us in the direction of progress . We can’t hope to change the very top and hope for this change to trickle down the system . We need to change the base , no matter how insignificant it may be .

One of the ways through which we can save a lot of power while using the web is as follows :

There is point denying that we put google search engine to a lot of use in our day to day life . We love to google things , don’t we .

A research suggested that a black version of the Google would save a lot of energy. ( was created inspired by this theory)

This is a search engine powered by Google.
It saves energy because the screen is predominantly black.

Join your hands in this enegry saving mission.

Always use this site for search and make sure to SET IT AS YOUR HOME PAGE.

Please spread the good word among your friends, neighbours.

Lets use and save energy.

Of Strikes and Gandhi Jayanti in the same week!!

October 2, 2009

Unbelievable! The Strikes strike back!

Gandhiji must have not thought that the non co-operation movement that he captained against the British during his lifetime, would one day maim the public structures of Independent India..

Pilots jeopardised Jet Airways and Air India by going on sick leave..
Professors of IIT – IIM going on hunger strikes..

Certain pockets of people are holding the general public at ransom to have their demands met…

There must be some appropriate machinery for getting them addressed… not by rampant strikes.

As Mr. Tharoor points out rightly, “the cattle class” who pay the regular taxes is completely mowed down by such events.

Mahatma Gandhi wouldnt be really happy on his 140th birth anniversary with how his ideals are being misused to butcher the public services sector of our country.


Is Gandhi Jayanti just another Holiday? Do we only remember him because of today’s Google Doodle?

Image courtesy :

Smart Water use in the home

August 31, 2009

We were provided handouts on A quick and easy Smart water use check up to see how we can save water, power and money!

I am providing below a short synopsis of tips that I think are great and easy to measure.

Get a pen and paper and record the results as you work around your home.


If any of the taps in your kitchen, bathroom or laundry are:

  • Individual hot and cold taps mounted on the counter top or
  • Single lever (mixer) faucet/tap or
  • Individual taps with a combined spout

To check the flow rate – do this:

a. Turn the water on and run it at your normal flow

b. Place a container under and tap and collect water for 10 seconds

c. Measure the volume of water collected (e.g. pour into a measuring cup)

d. Multiply the volume x 6 to determine flow rates in litres per minute (l/min)

If the flow rate is more than 12l/min on any tap, consider installing an aerator or flow restrictor to reduce to 9l/min ir less – a minimum 25% reduction.


Check toilet type. Is the toilet:

  • Single Flush orDual flush (can’t be imrpoved)

If the toilet is single flush model:

a. Take the top off the tank behind the toilet

b. Locate the centre post with washes that keeps the water in the tank

c.Flush the toilet and watch the action of the lever arms and centre post.

To reduce the volume of water used during each flush. you can:

a. Adjust the lever arm so that the float stops the tank refilling at a lower level – this gives a modest reduction in water us or

b. Install a cistern weight, hanging it over the centre post – this can reduce water use by as much as 60% every flush!!! To function properly, hold the flush lever down until the bowl is clear then release it. when you do this. the weight forces the washer to close and prevents any more water escaping.


If the shower is a :

  • Standard/wall mount shower or
  • Slide and hose type

Check the flow rate. To do this:

a. Turn the water on and run it at your normal flow.

b. Place a container (e.g. a pail) under the shower flow and collect water for 10 seconds.

c. Measure the colume of water collected (e.g. pour into a standard size container)

d. Multiply the volume x 6 to determine flow rate in litres per minute.

If the flow rate is more than 18l/min, you can install a low-flow showerhead or flow restrictor to reduce it to 9 or 12l/min – this provides a minimum 33% reduction in water use.

Start saving water, power and money!

Save even more money by reducing your shower time. Go for the famous ‘four-minute’ shower (I need to practice this when I am preaching this) 😛