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This link recently saved by justmohit on October 11, 2010
The National Identification Authority of India Bill approved by the Union Cabinet on Friday has sidestepped critical privacy aspects relating to profiling and function creep — a term used to describe the way in which information is collected for one limited purpose but gradually gets used for other purposes.
Here are some reasons why you should oppose this Bill:
This link recently saved by justmohit on September 07, 2010
The organic co-existence of the farmer who raises cows gives him a legitimacy over his livestock...
there is a disconnect between the realities of lower Hindu castes, Dalits, tribal people, Christians and Muslims who rear cattle, and that of a few cultural elites from the Brahmin and Brahminised upper castes who don’t like to get their hands dirty doing manual labour, but construct a theory of the sacred cow. And the latter somehow always wins over the former...
The right to one’s food preference has to be respected just as much as another’s right to avoid a particular food. Problems arise when a particular school of thought on food influences the state, and passes laws in its favour. Such actions are simply not democratic, and in this case, ahistorical, and will prove detrimental for the rural economy.
This link recently saved by justmohit on July 15, 2010
the crisis starts when the people who define themselves by their religion, through threats and through acts of violence, start impinging on my basic rights of expression...As if such extra-constitutional intimidation was not enough, there is also the government...which, through the force of law, does its best to inhibit expressions of free opinion...
I always thought that in a democracy, free speech needs to be guarded especially when it hurts someone’s sentiments...Evidently I was wrong.
On the same principle though, I am opposed to the French ban on the veil as I see it as an impingement by a secular progressive society on the right of an individual, in this case someone who is overtly religious, to express herself as she deems fit...While the state should interfere if people are forced to cover themselves up, it has no right to prevent citizens from making...voluntary...choices...that impact only the person making that choice and which lead to no deprivation for anyone...
This link recently saved by justmohit on June 10, 2010
I am outraged that 'gambling' is banned in India. Firstly, such a ban is morally wrong. If an adult makes a decision about a particular course of action, or two consenting adults enter into an arrangement about anything at all without infringing the rights of anyone else, it should be nobody's business but theirs. The government is violating their rights by getting in the way.
Secondly, such a ban is hypocritical. We already allow most forms of gambling, so to ban just a few makes no sense. Investing in stocks, for example, is as risky for the average investor as most things you could do in a casino. All the governments that have refused to legalize gambling have themselves gambled consistently...Some of these backfired, some did not, and some are still open to interpretation. But these were all gambles by governments that don't allow gambling...
In these modern times, government should exist to serve us, not rule us. Yet, our government routinely behaves as if we are mere subjects.
This link recently saved by justmohit on August 14, 2009
Much of science writing today is pressed into the service of debunking pseudoscience—as with the patient and necessary attacks on creationist “theories” of evolution, or with examining the claims made by the pharma, food and alternative therapy industries. Many scientists are employed by these industries, and it’s for the independent researcher/ writer to offer the other side, or to examine claims more carefully.
It would have been so easy for Simon Singh to offer a ritual apology, and to save himself the trouble he’s been put to over the last twelve months. But he believes that his article addressed an important area of public awareness, especially with regard to children’s health...“I have always been aware of the libel laws, but I don't think I ever fully appreciated the chilling effect they have on journalism...” It’s this absence, this rarely discussed silence, that Simon Singh and others like him are defending, in the UK and elsewhere.
This link recently saved by justmohit on July 02, 2009
If you plough through all the citizen-friendly sounding stuff that this team is supposed to do, you will hit upon this clause: “For carrying out its functions prescribed in section 70 (B) of the Act, CERT-IN may seek information and give directions for compliance to the service providers, intermediaries, data centres, body corporate and any other person, as may be necessary.” This innocuous body can order your service provider to cough up any data it wants. And what level of officer can do this? Any officer of CERT-IN, not below the rank of Deputy Secretary to the Government of India. Again, the defence is that this clause only relates to cyber security. The rules empowering CERT-IN are drafted by the organisation itself. Talk of giving yourself powers because you are making the rules!
This link recently saved by justmohit on July 01, 2009
Since the notion of spying on prisoners through the night was ridiculous, the IG said it was better to discontinue the condom project, and pretend there was no homosexuality — and no criminal activity — in the prison in the first place. Ignorance was bliss, damn the public health consequences.
The story above is instructive and in some respects uniquely Indian. It reveals the extremes to which the Indian bureaucratic mind can go...It leaves one wondering: does the law exist to make life easier for society, or does society exist as a useful framework within which to test whimsical law?
The issue of legalising homosexuality and removing or amending Section 377 is typical of this conundrum...
Is liberalisation not also about the expansion of individual freedom, about the citizen’s liberty from the tyranny of bad laws, behaviour inspectors and a nanny state that wants to know how people live their lives?
...the gay/lesbian issue is a compelling examination of the quality of our democracy.
This link recently saved by justmohit on February 17, 2009
And yet, the newspaper caved in last week. Why?
Two reasons explain this. One is the ridiculous section of the Indian Penal Code S 295 (A) — which allows anyone offended by anything to demand that what offends him should be banned...India is a multi-everything country with a billion people, and the possibility of such disputes is endless.
And that’s where the second reason comes in: the failure of the state to protect rights...Anyone who can take umbrage, does; and his hurt feelings take precedence over others’ right to express themselves freely. Instead of protecting the right of free expression, the state defends the offended, thus circumscribing meaningful debate.
...It deserves the state’s protection. Instead, the state threatens the editor with jail. Result: the world’s largest democracy narrows its discourse, talking about less and less in public, breeding more and more resentment in private. And a newspaper that could once challenge the highest of the land is made to grovel.