This morning, the Washington Post reported that India, reputedly the world’s most populated democracy, has started emulating its neighbor China in blocking access to certain parts of the Web.
BOMBAY — India’s Internet regulators have started blocking several Web sites, following the lead of China, where government censors heavily restrict the flow of online information.
India’s department of telecommunications sent an order late last week to Internet service providers to block several Web sites, according to a department spokesman. The spokesman, Rajesh Malhotra, declined to disclose the contents of the letter or discuss the order, saying it was a “confidential exchange of information between the department and the operators.”
Several telecom operators confirmed that they were directed to block more than 15 Web sites. Close to a third of those are home to blogs, or personalized Web logs, such as Blogger.com and Geocities.com. Included on a list seen by the Wall Street Journal are sites that showcase views of an Islamic holy man; conservative Hindus; and dalits, the low caste in India pejoratively referred to as untouchables.
Wizbang lists eleven blogs that have apparently been blocked by Indian authorities, and, frankly, I’m annoyed that Below The Beltway isn’t among them.
So, Indian censors out there……..listen. Go ahead, ban me. I could use the publicity.
On a more serious note, this is a disappointment. Recent developments have seemed to indicate that India was becoming an important American ally, and the train bombings earlier this month seemed to show that the War On Terror had united the world’s two largest democracies in a common cause. Instead, New Dehli is following in the footsteps of Beijing, and the Indian people will be the biggest losers.
Why did India ban this website? And what is the larger meaning of this action?
The short answer to the first question is that we offended Islamists and India is afraid of its own Muslim citizens. The short answer to the second question is that, sadly, it is increasingly becoming evident that liberty may not be able to exist wherever there is a large population of Muslims.
As much as I am distressed to admit it, I am beginning to think that this is absolutely correct.
More coverage by Michelle Malkin.