POSTED BY Buzz ON Apr 13, 2012 AT 23:46 IST ,  Edited At: Apr 13, 2012 23:46 IST

The cartoon that apparently led to the arrest of a Jadavpur University professor (52) along with his 72-year old neighbour, on charges under IT Rules of "intent to insult the modesty of a woman through words and gesture, defamation and dissemination through computer of information that they knew was false but was meant to “cause annoyance, inconvenience, criminal intimidation”"

The photo below depicts a scene from the film, Sonar Kella:
 



For those not conversant with Bengali or have not seen the Satayajit Ray classic Sonar Kella:

Mamata: dekhte pachho mukul, sonar kella? [Can you see Mukul, the Golden Fortress -- this is actually a dialogue from Sonar Kella a film by Satyajit Ray, which also has a young protagonist called Mukul]

Mukul: otaa dushtu lok! [Here the Mukul is Mukul Roy, the railway minister appointed in place of Dinesh Trivedi, who was forced to resign after presenting the railway budget: That is a bad man!]

Mamata: Dushtu lok? Vanish! [Bad man? Vanish!]

Reacting to this outrageous development, on Times Now, Professor Ashis Nandy said, inter alia:

"I would advise Ms Banerjee to seek the help of psychiatrists in Calcutta. I would diagnose her as suffering from incipient paranoia. She sees enemies and controversies against her everywhere...She is taking upon herself the responsibility of interpreting the constitution of India when there are far better people than her to do so... All sorts of people manage to come into power these days, from nuts to psychopaths to paranoids... and I am afraid West Bengal has been saddled with a chief minister who seems to be suffering from paranoia...Mamata Banerjee should be advised to dismiss all the editors of all the newspapers and become the editor herself. She should even draw the cartoons herself. Then she would not have any reason to grumble.... We are stuck with a nut."

Activists point out that these arrests today underline the need for annulment of IT Rules 2011. As Pavan Duggal, a cyber law expert points out, unless the prosecutors withdraw the case themselves, even though the charges they are booked under are bailable, the sheer due process is going to be "living hell" for the duo. 

In that regard here is the text of a petition put out by SFLC.in:

Dear Member of Parliament,

The Constitution of India provides the citizens of this country the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression subject to reasonable restrictions as laid down in the Constitution itself. Now, with the spread of the Internet and the availability of tools like blogs and social networks we are able to enjoy this freedom to the fullest and have a true participatory democracy.

You, as legislators recognised the importance of intermediaries like Google, Facebook, Twitter and Internet Service Providers for e-commerce as well as for free expression, helping us to express ourselves and provided them protection from any legal liability that could arise out of content generated by users. Such a protection provided in the Information Technology Act, 2000 was important for these intermediaries to operate freely without threats of frivolous legal action.

Now, the Government wants to impose restrictive, unconstitutional guidelines on the intermediaries via the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011 notified in April 2011.

The rules cast an obligation on the intermediaries to remove access to any content on receiving a complaint from an affected person that it falls under the category of a wide, vague, undefined list of “unlawful” content specified in the rules. This vague list includes content considered as ‘blasphemous’, ‘libellous’, ‘grossly harmful’, ‘harassing’, or ‘disparaging’. The rules mandate the intermediaries to decide whether content is “lawful”, thereby bye-passing judicial processes. The rules also allow Government agencies to access personal data of users without any legal safeguards. These rules are violative of our constitutional rights of freedom of expression and privacy and are also against the intent of the Parliament as stated in the Information Technology Act, 2000.

We appeal to you to support the motion for annulment of the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011 being moved in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha and to ask the Government to draft new rules which will protect our freedom and privacy.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

SFLC.in also has a very brief primer on the IT Rules here. You can consider signing the petition here or write to your MP directly.

POSTED BY Buzz ON Apr 13, 2012 AT 23:46 IST ,  Edited At: Apr 13, 2012 23:46 IST
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Daily Mail
Digression
40/D-74
Apr 20, 2012
04:42 PM

To clarify one point I have harped on in my posts, there is a bit of history to recall for those who are not oriented on Darjeeling and the mountainous country side in north Bengal.  This will expose Mamata's "forked tongue" just like that of a snake.

At the time of partition in 1947, there was a Hills Council in the State's administration in place to make decision relevant to local issues.  And there was some autonomy in that regard for that Council since the issues for the hills owing to its topography bear no resemblance to the plain and hence unique.

That Hills Council operated just like a district (or panchyat?) of a province and survived in its original name until Mamata appeared in the scene.  As the influx of Nepali Gurkhas increased in 1950s and 1960s, who moved in as squatters first, they started some political movement to create an enclave of their own people and wanted to change that name "Hills Council" for something with the qualification of "Gurkha".  

The introduction of the epithet "Gurkha" has definite connotations - as if the territory there belonged in some sense to the Gurkhas.  No CM of Bengal agreed to that.  Even Jyoti Basu, who is widely regarded as the vilain,  had outright rejected that changing of naming in favour of smuggling in "Gurkha" sensing what was a foot.

But when Mamata got elected, she immediately agreed to the name change to GTA - Gurkha Terrotorial Act - in support of these newly arrived Nepalis and in defiance of all local Bengali protests. She even gleefully explained to the audience in Calcutta television: what does it matter in a name?

Now look at her hypocrisy and her devious nature.  She insisted to change the name of "West Bengal" to "Paschimbongo", explaining in the TV that there wiil be an advantage for the State since the letter "P" precedes "W", and in some sense gets preference in many occasions over other states when one is called up to give a presentation.

This should drive home to all uninformed neutral observers how devious Mamata is - she makes her move with her forked tongue like that of a snake as it suits her agenda.

The Gurkhas have tasted blood now and it is a matter of time that there will be full scale agitation unleashed for the creation of a new state "Gurkhaland" from northern Bengal. Inevitably thiere will be the third partition of original Bengal in due course under the blessing of Mamata.

Pinaki S Ray
Adelaide, Australia
39/D-102
Apr 19, 2012
04:56 PM

Reading through my postings here, I found that I have not addressed one quote fully although I did referr to it: Hence, I feel I should have a go at it lest I am held misleading in the context. That quote is actually the following:

"Tourists are retuning to the hills & economy there reviving." - MANISH BANERJEE KOLKATA  10/D-87

The question must be asked for whose benefit "economy there is striving",  if at all !

The only answer I could  extract scratching my head is:

for the benefit of the Nepali Gurkhas there - the squatters who usurped the land and rights of the original Bengalis by strong arm tactics displacing them and even the lepchas living there from time immemorial !

Now Nepali language is "used" there, not Bengali. Mamata struggles to give a speech there in Nepali, as reported in the press.  No playing of Rabindrasangeet in Darjeeling !

As I have noted, I cannot go back in Darjeeling where my forefathers had built their summer residence. Even a medical clinic to serve the locals in the long past.  I would be evicted then by strong arm of these Nepalis.

And these Gurkha thugs coming there as squatters in the past were stopping any car at the entrance of the hills which had a WB number plate, as reported in  the news sometime back. They have pulled down all road signs and posters which were in Bengali script in the past.

And Mamata has blessed them now with her signing GTA. She carefully avoided all the meetings called by the local Bengalis in Siliguri and surrounding area to disclose the specifics in that GTA !

The true Bengalis in the hills area are up in arms against Mamata for selling out Bengals's rights and interests to these Nepalis.

As a Bengali, I feel that one must have lost own's identity to uphold the economic uplift in the hills, if there has been in real terms. since Mamata came to power, as performance measure of her and flaunt in the open.

The future looks bleak for the Bengalis now.  Amen!

Pinaki S Ray
Adelaide, Australia
38/D-65
Apr 19, 2012
12:09 PM

The people of Bunglistan voted for her despite knowing she led a party of criminals. They deserve whatever happens to them and should be shown no sympathy whatsoever. The best thing the Left could do is to deliberately sit out the next election so the Bunglistanis are forced to suffer under this megalomaniac for ten years. That would be the best and most well-deserved punishment.

Biswapriya Purkayastha
Shillong, India
37/D-61
Apr 19, 2012
11:40 AM

Milkyway,

>> As long as there was hunky dory between Mamata and Congress, resident mulla and his cohorts had no problem.

What a hateful and idiotic post! Almost everybody would agree as to when she became a problem. Making it a Hindu/Muslim issue is stupid.

Anwaar
Dallas, United States
36/D-45
Apr 19, 2012
09:51 AM

 As long as there was hunky dory between Mamata and Congress, resident mulla and his cohorts had no problem. Now that she has shown her fangs, this gang has got burning in their a$$h#le.Psychoanalysis of this gang is needed.

Milkyway
Mumbai, India
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