Über Desi

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Indian government enters new era of censorship

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This leaked memo contains a directive from the Department of Telecommunications of the Government of India to all ISPs in India explicitly directing them to block various YouTube links, Twitter handles and other web pages.
Per Economic Times reports,

Through four (1, 2, 3, 4) directives to Internet Service Providers between 18 August and 21 August, the department of telecom has blocked numerous web pages on concerns that communal tensions were being fanned in the wake of the unrest following violence in the border districts of Assam. After protests in Mumbai on August 18 turned violent, the government had said that hate content was being spread through the Internet by groups in Pakistan.

This Orwellian move by the Indian government comes in the wake of recent incidents in Assam and the rampant rumors surrounding those incidents which triggered a mass exodus of migrants from the North East from various Indian cities.

Just to highlight how ridiculous and politically tinged this move is, one of the banned accounts is a parody Twitter account of the Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh.

Worshipping on taxpayer rupees

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The Andhra Pradesh government will now pay Christians to visit Israel. [link]

The Andhra Pradesh government will subsidise pilgrimage trips for Christians who want to travel to Israel, officials said.
There are about 1.2 million Christians in the state, representing nearly 2 percent of the state’s population. Among them is Chief Minister Y.S. Rajsekhara Reddy.

Lest we be fooled into believing this is an arbitrary occurence, it is not. Apparently, the Central government of India already offers subsidies to Haj pilgrims.

The subsidy is being modelled on that already offered by the central government to Muslims wanting to join the annual haj pilgrimage to Mecca, according to N.D. Tiwari, the state governor, in announcing the subsidy. New Delhi even has a special haj air terminal for Muslims, who account for about 13 percent of India’s 1.1 billion population.

Predictably, the BJP has chimed in demanding subsidies for Hindus. [link]

BJP floor leader G Kishan Reddy asked why the CM hadn’t acceded to the party’s request for a subsidy to Manasarovar pilgrims in the governor’s speech. “Why should the government discriminate against the majority community when it came to such matters?” he asked.

That I’m completely against any kind of subsidies for such religious activities, be it for Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jews, Scientologists, (insert religion here) would be stating the obvious.

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