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The Big Fight

Day-before-yesterday, that is on Friday, I went to attend "The Big Fight". The Big Fight is this another famous talkshow hosted on NDTV in which the three participants stand on one end while the host (currently Vikram Chandra; see pic) sits at a table in another corner. The participants called are often those who hold contradictory views on the same topic, often resulting in a heated debate. The role of the host is to ask provocative questions and cause the heated debate. After the debate, the audience gets 15 minutes to ask questions to the panelists.
Today's topic was "Should the government censor the internet?"
On the panel were:
1. Jayanti Natrajan (congress Spokeswoman),
2. Sidharth Luthra (a supreme court advocate specializing in cyber law; he fought the Bazee-MMS case)
3. Paranjay Guha Thukrata, Director School of Convergence
Then joining via satellite (there was a large LCD TV where we could see
them) were:
4. Principal, Modern School, Barakhamba Road
5. Mr Deepak Maheswari, Director, ISPAI (Internet Service Providers'
Association of India)

First Vikram Chandra asked the panelists their views on the blog
blockage and later the topic shifted to general internet censorship.
Jayanti Natrajan made some outragous comments like:
"Bloggers should exercise Self-Control" and "The government only meant
to block out 17 harmful site, not tons of regular sites".

Toward the end, Mrs. Natrajan created a hulaaboo about having to go
quickly as her flight was in 1.5 hours and she still hadn't done her
"homework" (her terminology). As a result, the audience was only given
10 minutes to put forward their question and I only got one chance to
ask something, so I asked what I thought important then,

(I quoted her comments mentioned above) "Maam, you mentioned that
bloggers should exercise self-control and that the government only
meant to block out harmful sites; yet the only four blogspot sites on
the list were: princesskimberly, a teenager's defunt diary from 2004,
not harmful and non political; commonfolkcommonsense.blogspot.com a
japanese site; and two anti-leftist (exposingtheleft and pajamaeditors)
American sites. How are these blogging sites a threat to Indian
National Security? Why were they banned?"

Mrs Natrajan answers, "(nervous laugh) The internet is a new medium of communication and as with every new medium, there may be mistakes, but I was saying that we
need to sensor the internet from harmful things against national
security or child pornography...." and blah blah blah. (note: this has not been quoted verbmatim, instead, this is as close to her answer as I can remember)

The show was aired on NDTV 24X7 yesterday, at 8:00pm

Some of the following comments are from a similar post of mine in the bloggerscollective google group.

Visit the thread here: http://groups.google.com/group/BloggersCollective/browse_thread/thread/da713048b6a093f7/4c41fd1fdf0a7f8e?lnk=gst&q=ndtv&rnum=1#4c41fd1fdf0a7f8e

The Supreme Court lawyer was Siddharth Luthra who has represented,
amongst others, A Bajaj of Baazee.com in the IIT-MMS-Baazee case

Thanks Ankit, well done. Will watch the show.

I was on a 10pm show last night on Times Now with Pawan Duggal and some ISP
representative. Was at an OB van, couldn't hear too well, but at one point
the ISP rep spoke about how the ISPs had done nothing wrong and they weren't
being given the benefit of the doubt. I fairly pounced on him then.

Sadly, no-one from the govt. was there.

Heh...how very typical of Jayanti Natarajan, though I'm quite surprised
that she actually accepted that there might have been a mistake. She
usually resorts to attack as defence and takes discussions on a

Ankit: Did Ms. Natarajan mention how the media supported campaign of
the bloggers is just an urban elitist conspiracy to malign the Congress
Party and Mrs.Gandhi, and only a miniscule part of India's population
has actually been affected by this?

She did try to justify that only a tiny tiny % of India accesses the
net, so we should also think about other Indians and not only those who
see the net or bloggers!!! But no, she didnt call it a conspiracy to
malign Congress or Mrs. Gandhi. And her statement where she accepted
the small mistake was practically whispered

Why didn't they call Mr. Arindam Chowdhury? In his absence how can a
fight involving bloggers be called a big fight?

And thankfully the DoT doesn't know how to put up splogs. How about

Okay I am watching it now...that lady is gone out of her mind...she
gave some example of some girl's blog and all...totally mindless?

She also asked for some code of ethics..i think she just spoke the
words from forrester's report

I missed the begining of the show so I do not know the names..but the
guy in center is also giving some useless suggestions....

He wants comments posted to be tracked and arrest the ppl who post that
(he gave some example of cyber cafe thing)

The only person with good knowledge seem to be the 3rd person..the old

The man in the center was Siddharth Luthra, who fought the Bazee case;
he's a supreme court advocate especialising in cyber law.

sorry cudnt watch the "fight"...
anyways good to hear that the bans over now...
sahi blogpage... gonna put u on the blogroll...

i like the idea of the congress thinkin blogs r an urban elitist thing while sittin in a village in assam with only 3 computers n 1 internet connection...makes me proud as a regular congress voter...although im sure the opposition would have said the exact same thing. i love my government.

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