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Censorship

India

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Censorship on Films Edit

In February 2004,Mumbai became the location of an unprecedented act of cultural resistance, Vikalp: Films For Freedom , a six-day long festival of documentary films. Running parallel to MIFF 2004, Vikalp was run by the filmmakers themselves, and the festival screened all the films rejected by MIFF 2004, as well as more than a dozen films withdrawn from MIFF by their filmmakers in protest of the covert censorship-by-selection.

Censorship of PressEdit

Book CensorshipEdit

Several books critical of religion have been banned in India or in parts of India. India was the first country in the world to ban "The Satanic Verses" by Salman Rushdie. The book "Understanding Islam through Hadis" by Ram Swarup was also banned. Pornography and media depicting sex are frequently censored.

Internet censorshipEdit

Censorship during the Kargil War Edit

During the kargil war, between May and July 1999 websites from Pakistan including that of the Dawn News paper was censored in India. There was no significant media coverage about this though till the subsequent Yahoo ban of 2003.

Yahoo Groups ban, Sep 2003 Edit

The first documented incident of Internet censorship in India was the Yahoo groups ban of 23rd september 2003.

Kynhun, a Yahoo group linked to the outlawed "Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council,", a minor separatist group from the North-Eastern state of Meghalaya, which espoused the case of the Khasi tribe was banned.

The order to implement the ban was forwarded to Indian ISP's by the Department of Telecommunications. Difficulties in implementing the ban by the ISP's ultimately led to all Yahoo groups being banned for a period of about two weeks.

Internet censorship of July 2006 Edit

The second reported incident of Internet censorship is the Indian Government's censorship of 17 websites including some blogs starting July 1, 2006.

The actual order did not ask for blogspot.com, typepad.com or geocities.com to be blocked. However, the inabilty of Indian ISP's to block specified sub-domains, once again led to these sites being blocked completely.

The full list and an order to implement the ban is available in the Bloggers Against Censorship section.

Bloggers against Censorship Edit

Bloggers Against Censorship was set up to collate information about and influence opinion against the Indian Government's July 2006 ban.

The conversation about the alleged ban can be tracked at the Bloggers Collective newsgroup

Reports of coverage in the mainstream media, information to bypass the ban and legal redressal are being made available at Bloggers Against Censorship

Draft Broadcast BillEdit

A draft broadcast bill is being introduced which if passsed would enable muzzling of all forms of mainstream media under conditions such as "reports implicating friendly nations".

External LinksEdit

  • India Censored! Website trying to provide a comprehensive coverage of the situation and solutions. Will be updated and modified heavily over the coming week
  • IndoSec An article that comprehensively documents the events of the first incident of Internet Censorship in India

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