SIMI activists, the alleged perpetrators behind the Mumbai 7/11 tragedy, like to blog. In their spare time, that is, when they are not making bombs to kill us all with. Now, the Government of India being as it is, cannot of course do a thing to catch them and spank them for their misdeeds. So, we're punishing them the next best way.
Its been decided by the people in power that the best way to get back at SIMI is to take away what they like - their blogging. Hence, a blanket ban has been draped over blogger.com, geocities.com, blogs.com and typepad.com, the most popular blogging sites in India. In your face, Students' Islamic Movement of India!
Now, the thing is this. Government officials maintain that its not a blanket ban, and not all blogs are under the ban order. Its true that we have banned several blogs under the said domain names. Not all. Just the ones that are dangerous. Blogs are a means by which terrorists exchange their vital information nowadays. Because mobile phones, emailing and chatting are all so passe you know - not the 'in' thing. Its a question of national security! In one stroke, we have hit SIMI where it hurts most - their...umm..desire for writing. No! I mean, the foundation of their operations...the base...blogging. We win! (in chorus) We win! We win! Yay!
Obviously, this has raised an outcry across the nation. Curtailing freedom of speech and what not. You can read about it here, here and here. I won't repeat their words.
Personally, I feel a quiet exhilaration. A sort of warmth glowing in my body. My head also feels a little light, now that I think about it. No no, not a fever. Really, its not that. Its just.....hmm...threat to national security. My blog too. Me. Threat to national security. I. Wow!
In my so far wasted existence, I've been many things - outstanding student, average student, backbencher, wimp, hero, amateur sportsman, maker of excellent chaats and the occasional Maggi. But never have I been a threat to national security. Threat to my best friend's birthday cake before he has even cut it - yes maybe I've been that. But national security? Definitely no.
This is an epoch in my life. I am born again - renewed, afresh, straight to 18 yrs of age of course, but you get the gist. When I walk down the building, roam the streets, eat puchka at the roadside, I do so with a quiet confidence. I look around me and I see ordinary harmless people going about their lives. I smirk at them. They don't know I'm a threat to them.
I glare at little kids playing around. And they glare back. Some of them come from behind and kick me. I dont say anything. I get back up, laugh lightly and walk on, forgiving their ignorance. They don't know how dangerous I really am.
Soon, the Indian Government will grow up. They will learn that perhaps the best way to curb terrorism is to catch the terrorists, rather than to take away their soft toys. They may also realize that there are other ways to communicate large amounts of information to a large number of people - things such as email and telephones come to mind. And the ban shall be lifted.
My blog shall be normally accessible again. I will be free to go. One with the rest again. But the memory will last. I won't forget. I will remind myself, in my dark moods of low self esteem, or when the neighborhood kids hit me from the back, damn them. I was once a threat. They had to chain me down. They had to restrain me. I was banned once.