Tuesday, 1 June 2004


The thing about hate sites, like the recently blocked www.HinduUnity.org, is that they love being banned. They want to be banned. They're there to be banned. They're hoping to be banned because nothing makes them feel more vindicated, more martyred and more virtuous. I know the guys out there at this particular rabid, Islam-hating, woman-fearing band of brothers: they've sent a lot of mail to the Babu as well as to his offline avatar. (Funny, that, how all hate mail sounds the same. I used to wonder about this until I discovered that most hate sites thoughtfully provide a cut-and-paste, One-Size-Fits-All Hate Spewing Form.)
I'm all for promoting peace and goodwill and noble thoughts through the Net, but the Mumbai police's decision to ban the site makes little sense. I don't like the idea of stiffnecked government officials deciding what we can and can't read--and when you ban a site like Kynhun (an e-group that discussed the petty corruption of petty officials in Meghalaya as well as the possibility of seceding from the Indian union), you create a genuine grievance out of a minor kvetch.
All that banning websites accomplishes is to put little men with hate in their hearts on the fast track to learning about anonymisers and mirror sites. The Net has a simple rule: if you don't like it, don't go there. And the first thing we did when we heard about the HinduUnity ban was to hit the cache and revisit a vile site we'd have avoided like the plague pre-ban.

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