On social media

02 June 2008

Celebrate Victory Over Fake Libertarians

The RSS's prevalence in orkut had made Google nervous, as it briefly blacked out all RSS communities a year ago. It shouldn't be difficult to guess who had arm-twisted Google into taking the action of intolerant censorship. Nevertheless, the youth protested vociferously and all those banned fora were back online. This is an announcement of the commemoration of the event, marking youth power, next week
Amit Chatterjee
We often celebrate festivals and days of national importance and also mourn the death and sacrifices of great leaders. The reason we do this is to remind ourselves and the present and future generations every now and then about our history so that they remember and learn from the past.This is a universal phenomenon. Such days or periods unify people and strike emotional chords.

Similarly we, the RSS members who are regular orkut users, thought of remembering a dark chapter in orkut for the Sangha Pariwaar communities (or fora). After consultation with the central team (http://www.orkut.co.in/Community.aspx?cmm=39093363) we all decided to go forward with this proposal of commemorating "Orkut Hindu Shakti Wijay Saptah".

It had so happened that in the period 13-14 June 2007, the orkut communities dedicated to the RSS and its affiliates were blocked by the said social network service provider. The details of this blockade remains mysterious till date but this was done very systematically as all RSS and pro Hindutvawadi communities went offline.

According to our knowledge, this action was suspected to be taken by some supporters of the UPA Government who must have wielded their influence to get the communities banned. As orkut takes such swift actions of blocking and deleting communities only after complaints of abuse are made or registered by governments.

But after vociferous protests, thousands of mass e-mails by the supporters of the RSS, all its communities were back online on 16 June 2007.

Currently there are over 100,000 members in all pro-RSS and Hindutwaaadi communities in orkut, but a year ago the numbers were less than 25,000. The affiliations could never have increased if these communities were not retrieved. This could happen because of mass protests and efforts taken by members and community owners. Currently, the RSS has ownership and healthy membership spread all across important communities like "India" and "Indian Politics" among several others.

We shouldn't forget this important event in the history of orkut, as such a situation might be repeated again if the RSS supporters become indifferent. This also reminds us of the unjust ban on the RSS in 1947-48 and during Emergency.

The attack on the pro-Hindutwa fora wasn't specific to the RSS; it was in all probability aimed at hitting the morale of young supporters of India's Right wing movement/ideology across orkut. Unacceptable as this unofficial gag was, more and more communities in orkut are emerging to support the RSS's cause.

All major orkut fora related to the RSS, Hindutwa, nationalism, nationalis leaders and preachers have been requested to change the display picture to what one can see in the profile given asunder.

At present, two Hinduism communities and those of the RSS, the VHP, the ABVP and the HSS have agreed to join the movement. Overall, this translates to a membership of over 100,000 from all these communities. With proper visibility in the community, the online movement aims to cover at least half of the 5.5 lakhs members in the forum called "India".

The "Orkut Hindu Shakti Wijay Saptah" poster uploaded onto orkut

The campaign will run in the period 10-17 June.

The writer is a Mumbai-based member of the RSS and the BJP, honorary CEO of Vivek Vyaspeeth and honorary director of Global Millenium Development Summit -Mumbai 2008. The views expressed are his own


Surajit Dasgupta said...

No matter how many advocates of freedom this world has, when it comes to giving freedom, nobody is as willing as one is while demanding it. In terms of philosophy of social conduct, it is both unfair and unethical to gag anybody's expression when it is accompanied by substantiating and corroborative arguments. Till now, we had been hearing of social networking websites like orkut being blocked in workplaces, ignoring the valid argument that being in touch with the rest of the world through the Internet may not necessarily come in the way of one’s work, and it may not translate to negligence in discharging one’s professional responsibilities. But now, where do we go to get our grievance redressed if it’s not an office that is blocking the exchange of ideas between the members of a socio-political group, but the very platform for such discourse that is yielding time and again to the pressure exerted by the enemies of freedom? This, when the RSS fora blocked temporarily last year were/are neither vulgar nor indecent nor obscene. “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.” Voltaire, the poster-boy of the Lib-Left, must be turning in his grave, seeing the present crop of his purported followers, even as Evelyn Beatrice Hall might fume with rage for the copyright infringement by pseudo-intellectuals who attribute her saying wrongly to François-Marie Arouet (Voltaire).

Nithin.S said...

I believe the initiative to celebrate "Vijay Saptah" is a good one atleast symbolically. the idea of freedom of expression is somewhat twisted in India. Eventhough the denigration done by Hussain is defended by Media as "freedom of expression", the people who protest such things peacefully are denounced. I believe, as a painter has freedom to paint, so also another to protest.

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Surajit Dasgupta treats no individual, organisation or institution as a holy cow.