Sunday, 23 May 2010

How do you say Net Nanny in Urdu ?


Pakistan seems to have caught the China disease. It has banned Facebook, YouTube, et al. Because some idiot somewhere in the world launched a Facebook campaign “Everybody draw Muhammad day”. As is well known, any depiction of the Prophet Muhammad is considered blasphemy in Islam. People who volubly deny the holocaust, draw cartoons of the Prophet, etc must be quartered – they are deliberately inciting religious hatred and violence. Freedom of speech is a precious freedom, but does not extend to shouting Fire in a crowded theatre.

The reaction from Pakistan has been to ban Facebook. Facebook is not doing this – somebody is using Facebook to create mischief. But then, as said in the immortal lines from Casablanca – “Round up the usual suspects”. Ban them all. There's a furious debate going on in Pakistan on the sense, or senselessness, of this move.

Almost certainly, proxies will see a sudden surge of business from Pakistan. Pakistan has a vibrant social networking community – especially bloggers. We, from outside Pakistan, and especially from India, would do well to read and follow some of them. Nothing serves Indians and Pakistanis poorer than ignorance about each other. Especially since we are so similar , that we are essentially the same.

I’ll leave you with a superb post I read in The Dawn’s blog. I couldn’t help but chuckle all the way. The Dawn incidentally, is Pakistan’s leading English newspaper and a fine one at that. It’s a newspaper I love to read on the Net. It will completely dispel the stereotypes of Pakistan. I recommend its blogs – there’s some wonderful writing and perspectives out there.

19 comments:

  1. Sandhya Sriram23/5/10

    me first ( i think so)

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  2. my net nanny is so slow here, i was wondering, if by the time i post, GILS would do so :-)

    when i read this article that Pakistan has gone the chinese way, i felt very sad. It only weakens the little bit hope which exists to unite the two bleeding brothers.

    keeping the context of pakistan and facebook aside, i feel to some extent, the fear is valid. if you tell me, someone could have access to my family and it may so happen that I will never be able to know who it could be, i would be very uncomfortable. for many, it is a similar emotion.

    it may sound very nanny types, but i feel that rather than restricting the content on what goes on the net, a step to tame this uncontrolled animal authenticate every user who accesses it. for ex: if i need to access the net, i need to do so by probably authenticating myself with my social security number or its equivalent in my country. it is absolutely an impossible imagination at this point, i know but eventually, it has to get there.

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  3. Exkalibur66623/5/10

    Great post from the Dawn. I am also an occasional reader of the Dawn. It is a really good newspaper and gives us a different perspective of pakistan. Banning these sites is not the solution. Thes sites should take action to ban objectionable content. On the contrary i think religion is now doing more harm than good.

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  4. Exkalibur66623/5/10

    Pls check out some comments on the dawn blog..some of us may be surprised at how well people have received it..

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  5. jaal dhaadhi ma?

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  6. sandhya madam..neengalay thaan phirstu :D :D thala...freedomngara conceptnu vanthutaprum..misuse abuse nulam solika mudiathu thala..misuse panrathum en freedom nu solitu thirivanga.. en freedom ungala impact pannama irukara varaikum ok apdinu elarum irunthuta prachanaiye ila :) net nanny..valai paaty..jaal dhaadhima..nettu nannyu intha imsaingallam thevaye padathu aprum

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  7. Great story! There is an intelligentsia in Pakistan who are well educated, well bred want to lead a good life. Its a pity that only the scums from both countries find the limelight.
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    My take on social networking sites is how much ever you see on it, is what you yourself have uploaded. One has to be responsible himself to decide what needs to go up and who needs to see it (one can give access only to the ones who should see it). People with malicious intents existed even before these things came about.
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    I never read a Pakistani newspaper before, but have lived on PTV for 3-4 years or even more. The content and quality of shows are much better than the hoards of Indian sob channels. Of course every now and then there is an undertone of India bashing. But with the limited access those people have to the world outside they are doing a pretty good work. Pakistanis will definitely score one up on their sense of humour.
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    Banning FB in Pakistan actually has been recieved with a relief by Indian youngsters, coz there are 1000s of Pakistani communities which were simply made to abuse Indians! And Indians don't like others abusing them, only Indians can abuse Indians! :D

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  8. Glad to read the blog in The Dawn. Speaks volumes of the sensibilities prevalent in Pakistan.

    I agree that Facebook is not doing this and equally the mass should not be penalized for fault of a few. However, what could be a choice when such campaigns aggravate the cultural differences to an uncontrollable extent?

    Tend to agree with Sandhya!

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  9. I liked the title very much[thaniya room pottu ukkanthu yosipinglo ;)]

    The blog was fun and cool. I think that guy who ran away has a lot to learn from our guys. He could have had some photos[hopped] hanging on the walls with guns ,afghanistan scenery in background, hell even with bin laden. then he couldnt have pulled such a trick.

    The pakistani youth may do something constructive, well FB is blocked rite ;)

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  10. @Sandhya - I am not in favour of authenticating users. The Net is simply a medium. Just like in real life, all sorts of characters exist. Its upto us to sift the good from the bad. Even in Pakistan, there is an outcry against the blocking on the grounds that we need not get insulted by the acts of a few clowns and that the religion is much stronger than needing to react to such provocations. The only time I am in favour of any censorship of the net is for children. Just like in movies where those rated A are not allowed to be screened to the likes of Gils !

    @Exkalibur - Yes the comments section is very revealing. Quite balanced and mature comments, I thought. One of the most depressing reads is the comments section in Rediff. I am dismayed at how soon the comments descend into filth and abuse.

    @Gils - I continue to be amazed at your brilliant comments gils. Under the humour are deep thoughts. I don't accept that freedom is unrestrained. Freedom is a cherished goal to be fought for, but it does not give anybody a license to abuse it by instigating violence, impinging on other people's freedom, etc. And your linguistic depictions of the Net Nanny are superb.

    @Deepa - The youth in Pakistan are wanting exactly the same things as us. The blind anti India feeling is all gone except in the lunatic fringes.

    @Vishal - The best response to the idiots who seek to inflame passions is to ignore them. If there wasn't an outcry, the attempt would have hugely failed. Criticise the perpetrators on their page and forget about it - do we need to react to every small provocation. How about "Forgive them Lord for they know not what they do "

    @Zeno _ Oh yes ; the mullahs have a lot to learn from the fraud godmen of India !!

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  11. That is sad. What would happen to the thousands of mindless minds which wait for the next poke or high five on FB ? Loved the post you linked. As you rightly mentioned, there are some which are beyond the stereotype.

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  12. We under estimate pakistan for some reason and the pic of pak in our mind is different,when we looked for a database transformation to Teradata(2005),we found only 2 in India were trained on that and surprisingly Pakitan had 7 people with teradata knowledge.

    Well,banning has become a routine in ome countries and people find the way to proxy it and access,people in UAE easily proxy and use orkut,same will be for Pak in case of FB.

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  13. @Blogueur - They'll go through a proxy; that's all and curse the blockage for the pain and the things they can't do through a proxy. Ans yes, I've met quite a few Pakistanis as part of my work, visited Pakistan once and am yet to see a single person who fits that awful stereotype. Easily our best clients in the business are the Pakistanis - so fair and professional.

    @ambulisamma - Absolutely. Its all because of ignorance. Now with the Net, barriers can come down. And once we begin to understand each other, we will come together, for we are essentially the same.

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  14. Hilarious post in The Dawn. Must try and read this more often. Yes, it is strange how well we can relate to the majority of Pakistan... but politics is on its own trip.

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  15. @J - Yeah, the Dawn is a fine newspaper. Pakistan is a very different place from what it is portrayed to be in India.

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  16. Coming together is still a question,they are still aggressive.
    A friend of mine had a pakistan neighbour who gave lot of troubles,including destroying the kolam they put occassionally.

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  17. @ambulisamma - There may be people we don't like as in any grouping of individuals. But, by and large, I believe Pakistanis are as friendly and as welcoming as Indians.

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  18. That was a real funny story coming from a country which we (including me) perceive as turning into theist quicksand.

    Freedom goes all way round. If you want to enjoy goodies, there are a few sour things as well. And, how do you perceive the M F Husain controversy? :) [summa ungala vambula maati udalaamaeynnu]

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  19. @Rammm - Indeed so. Freedom carries a price too. Won't rise to your vambula maatifying attempt :):)

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