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National symbols should invoke love not fear

Supreme court bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy just ruled that National Anthem must be played in all cinema halls before a movie is screened 2.

This is just ridiculous and I don't even know where to start why.

Let me start with a more acceptable and less radical argument; the argument of futility of forced nationalism. If the nationalism could be forced by singing national anthem, we would have solveed the problem of Kashmir separatism just by making them sing national anthem.

My other argument is relatively less acceptable and I am myself not so sure about the over all impact of the argument. In my opinion national symbols command authority and obedience which are not the emotions that are conducive for a democracy. Democracy flourishes is in the emotions of love, not obedience. A national symbol, song or anthem should evoke feelings of love not fear and obedience. By forcing everyone to follow certain code, especially by an authority we are replacing whatever emotions the anthem used to produce with fear and obedience. This is counter productive and against the ethos of democracy in my opinion.

  1. http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/supreme-court-cinema-halls-thirteen-years-ago-same-petitioner-same-judge-and-the-anthem-4404145/ 

  2. http://www.ptinews.com/news/8134513_National-anthem-must-be-played-before-screening-of-films--SC-.html 

Published : 2016-12-01T05:30:30Z

Democracy and free market clash but they have to be reconciled

Sometimes it happens that you are thinking of some idea and then you find it face to face in some of your reading. I found this two page description of the complex relationship between democracy and free market in the book titled "Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism" by Ha-Joon Chang. In summary the idea is that Democracy means one-person one-vote, while free market means one-dollar one-vote. Hence democracy and free market clash especially when there are extreme inequalities in a society. As a result of extremly inequal free market, a rich person may be able to move capital for their frivolous desires while a poor may not be able to survive. Inspite of contradictions, democracy and free market are both fundamental building blocks of a decent society and they need to be reconciled. I think the easiest way of reconciling is by restraining extreme economic inequalities.

Published : 2016-05-09T04:51:31Z

Comments on The Geospatial Information Regulation Bill, 2016

Our nationalist government has come up with a new way of securing its citizens along with protecting the "sovereignty and integrity" of India: by regulating the geospatial information of India along with topographic information and international boundaries. I have more than a few criticisms of the bill which I will send to jsis@nic.in as well. You should send your comments too.

This bill makes the "Security Vetting Authority" as the arbiter of truth, by making "wrong or false" information a punishable offence [^2 Page 4]. This makes any debate about topological information and map boundaries impossible as at least one side has to be wrong. This clause should be removed from the bill.

The bill must justify how it adds up to the security of the country, otherwise the entire bill must not exist. All clauses of the bill must put the burden of proof on the "Security Vetting Authority" that possessing geospatial information was against the interests of the country.

The scope of geospatial information: The bill does not even attempt to

narrow down the definition of geospatial information. It includes

"digital data" ... "depicting natural or man-made physical features of

the earth" ... "terrestrial photos referenced to a co-ordinate system" [2 (Page 2)]. According to my understanding the definition is too broad to include drawing drawn by a kid in digital format especially if it depicts "natural physical features of the earth". It makes an attempt to narrow down the sources by which geospatial images can be captured but then adds "or any other means whatsover." The definition of geospatial information should be narrowed down by defining the aspect of information and the scale of information. At a smaller scale the information must not be regulated.

The bill adds the burden of proof on the possessor of the information by announcing that whoever has geospatial information must get a license to possess such information. The bill must introduce a report and warning system. For example, if the "Security Vetting Authority" finds an instance of such information, it must send a warning to the possessor of

information to take it down or face action and then if it does not comply action may be taken.

Overall the bill must not get converted into a law because it does not justify its purpose of existence, attacks freedom of speech and makes doing business harder as in case of Google and Uber.

  1. http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-wrong-depiction-of-india-s-map-can-land-you-in-jail-up-to-7-years-or-rs-100-cr-fine-2209607 

  2. http://mha.nic.in/sites/upload_files/mha/files/GeospatialBill_05052016_eve.pdf 

Published : 2016-05-06T04:54:08Z

The begining : RSS over facebook

This is my attempt to follow Richard Stallman to publish political notes via RSS instead of using facebook express my opinion. Let us see how far it goes. I'll try to link this content to facebook via facebook API. So my first political link is about Noam Chomsky's 1967 article regarding the moral reponsibility of intellectuals. For Indian intellectuals this directly translates to being reponsible for atrocities in Kashmir and the North East.

Published : 2016-04-30T21:45:09Z