Wednesday, September 24, 2003

There's mass indignation amongst Indian internet users. The Indian govt has asked through orders like these, all private ISPs to block access to a discussion group on yahoogroups. This group focusses on some anti-India activities, especially secessionist views. You may try to access this group here. You will be able to see it if you are outside India. If in India, you would get a gateway error or something similar. If you live in India and want to access this group, try Anonymizer which allows you to surf blocked websites. Or try typing the URL ( in Google and click on the cached links to see it.

However, that is not the point. If the govt deems some website to be dangerous to the integrity and sovereignty of the Indian Union, and deems to block it, freedom of speech and information be damned, *AT LEAST DO IT PROPERLY*. Most ISPs, including the one that I use, have blocked the complete site. Yahoo groups is a major website used by Indian users. I am personally a member of nearly 30 groups on the same, discussing issues as varied as Indian Business and Strategy, Pancham's music, Jainism and Search Engine Optimization. While thankfully we are not suffering from non-delivery of mails, the site's web access is blocked leading to administrative problems. Talk about cutting the hand to stop the accusing finger!

Here's an interesting letter that is being forwarded to the Indian users. Please help the cause and send the same to the Minister!


Due to bungling between GOI and ISPs, for many of us, it is not possible to access the yahoo groups site at all !!!

GOI had asked the ISPs to block access to a particular yahoogroup site, however, many ISPs have blocked access to entire yahoogroups site.
(It may not effect many yahoogroups members, but it does hinder moderators to do their job - and therefore, the effectiveness of the groups)

I am enlosing a copy of a copy of the government GO, which is also available at:
It is from the Ministry of Communications and IT - LR Cell, signed by Jayant Kumar, Director, LR II (tel # 011 23372601)

It tells ISPs to block - and definitely not to block the whole of yahoogroups.

The only recourse is to send petition to the Hon'ble Minister of Communiation and IT, Mr Arun Shourie, to intervene.

I am pasting a message below, and request you to cut-copy-paste it, and send to his mailids (which are give below)

Please forward this message to as many yahoogroups as you can (and not listed in "To:" above)

thanks for your initiative and cooperation

Dr Madhukar Shukla
Prof (OB & Strategic Management), XLRI, CH Area (East),
Jamshedpur India 831 001
ph: 91 657 2225506 x 300(O)/ 603(R)
fax: 91 657 2227814

Mail Off: Electronic Niketan, Lodhi Road, New Delhi
Fax Off: 24364484
Mail Res : A-31, Westend Enclave, New Delhi-110021
Fax Res: 24100012


Sh. Arun Shourie,
Hon'ble Minister for Communication and Information Technology
Government of India

Dear Sh. Shourie,

Sub: Protection of Right to freedom of speech & expression

Please refer to order No. 820-1/2003-LR(Vol.I) dated 10/09/2003 of Department of Telecommunication under your Ministry regarding
directions to block Internet website "" .

We believe that the Ministry of Communication must be having necessary reasons to block the above website. Any such censoring in National Interest / National Security is welcome. However it is pointed out that certain ISP's have implemented the said order by blocking the entire domain

Consequently a number of citizens in the country are not able to access various yahoo groups across the country. It is brought to your notice that the citizens use the free services of yahoo to exchange ideas and remain connected with one another. However consequent to the above order the exchange of free flow of information has come to a halt.

Having known you as a former Editor and champion of Freedom of Speech , it was surprising to know that such an order can come through a Ministry headed by you.

The Intellectuals across the country feel that censoring of Internet may lead the citizens of the country far behind in the fast changing world. Time memorial have proved that no censorship has ever worked in the country. Despite all odds in the country it is this freedom to speech that makes Indian citizens feel proud of their nation. It is this freedom that makes India different from China.

We therefore request you to personally intervene and either ensure the proper implementation of the order whereby only "" is blocked by ISP's or alternately withdraw the above order and ensure Right to freedom of speech & expression of all Citizens.

It is further requested that the rules under which the above order was passed may be re-looked and if possible a representative from amongst the Journalist world may be brought in the committee which examines such blockage of website. It should not happen that Bureaucrats/ Politicians use above tool to infringe the fundamental right to freedom of speech of citizens.

With a special appeal to the Journalist in you.

Best Regards,

A Concerned Citizen

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