Section 66A : What is the hoopla all about

Many of you might have woken up today with the news that the SC has deemed Section 66A of Indian IT Act as unconstitutional and struck it down. So what is this section 66A all about?

What is Section 66A

Legally the section 66A is worded as

Any person who sends, by means of a computer resource or a communication device,—

(a) any information that is grossly offensive or has menacing character; or

(b) any information which he knows to be false, but for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred or ill will, persistently by making use of such computer resource or a communication device,

(c) any electronic mail or electronic mail message for the purpose of causing annoyance or inconvenience or to deceive or to mislead the addressee or recipient about the origin of such messages,

shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine.

Basically in it’s purest form section 66A seems to have been formulated to protect against spreading of messages that can incite violence, promote hatred or online bullying by spreading false rumors.

So why the hoopla?

So why were people so pissed with the law and why was there so much hoopla over it. Well the issue is that law operates in words , it is not what the law intends to do but what the interpretation of the wording of the law can be.

Concentrate on the words “grossly offensive or has menacing character” , “annoyance “, “inconvenience” , “danger“, “persistently ” .

Who decides what is offensive? Who decides if it has menacing character? what is the measure of danger?

In it’s practical form the entire law is basically a tool to bully and intimidate the junta by the people in power . Eg: What if you want to criticize a Politician and he/she deems it as offensive ? You get arrested and go to jail. What about a satire/cartoon site  ? Are they allowed to make political satire at all? What about you talking about flaws in a religion?

The problem is that these cases have happened in the past . Aseem Trivedi‘s cartoons against corruption site was banned, a Jadavpur university professor was arrested for forwarding a caricature of Mamta Banerjee , three people spent 40 days in jail just because they were tagged in a video that was possibly blasphemous to a certain religion.

Should I be happy?

By all means yes , yes and yes. Congress introduced this and BJP actually tried to strengthen this and even defended it in court. They even want the online world to be regulated.

Internet is one of the last places to be free from government control and it is in our best interests to keep it that way. No Good democracy can survive until there is a free flow of information, unbiased sharing of opinions and a freedom from fear of prosecution for voicing your views(unpopular ) .

If internet is also compromised , we may become like china and from what all people say , that is not a nice thing to be.

My Older post : when I flipped out when CartoonsAgaisntCorruption was banned . I am happy today that this idiotic law is now gone

 

 

Music to help you concentrate

I never really understood instrumental music for a long long time. I always missed the words, the lyrics and always thought that it was the words that gave a piece the soul, the emotion ,until I got introduced to the music of the masters :Mozart , Beethoven and the likes

Now I may sound like a  pretentious snob when I say “Oh I listen to Mozart” but the reality is , I never even listened to them seriously for a long long time(at least not as pieces) until I decided to give it a listen while searching for some music to help me concentrate.

It is now been about a year or two listening to the music of these greats and I could not have been happier with myself . I now realize how music affects your emotions, how it can make you feel happy, sad, chirpy and contemplative .How simple shift in notes can trigger so many emotions that it is hard to explain.

I not only give it a listen, I seem to now have favorites as well, I actually like Mozart over any other musician , somehow his music is more powerful .I do not possess enough music vocabulary to pin point what I like about his music but all I can say is that it makes me feel more immersed and also helps me focus much much better .

So thanks to YouTube , here I wanted to share some YouTube videos I listen to quite often . These are collection of works of various greats

 

Foundation And Earth -Isaac Asimov – Review

The decision has been made  but Trev ..oops Trevize  is still not sure why he chose what he chose. Why did he chose Galaxia ?He is searching for an answer and for that he needs to find earth , not sure why but it seems right.

Foundation and Earth
Click Image to Buy the book

As a stand alone novel this is brilliant , great twists and turns, science and action . This book alone can be made into a three part movie if required .

But going by the standards of other Foundation Series novels , I am a bit disappointed. Way too much time spent on altercations between Bliss and Trevize and an attempt to bring in some sexual scenes which seemed completely unnecessary . But again this was written years after the foundation series, it was possibly expected that the writing style could change.

The book has it’s edgy moments and connects well with the whole foundation series while also hinting it’s connection with the Robots series. A great deal of attention paid on exposing the weaker side of even Gia , showing that it too is vulnerable and there can be forces much beyond it, making it look much more humane that shown in Foundation’s Edge

 

All in All Foundation and Earth by Isaac Asimov is still a great book to read.

 

Foundation’s Edge – A brilliant followup to the Foundation Series- book review

Very recently I had written a post about the foundation series by Issac Asimov and how it was one of the most important works of science fiction .

But Asimov did not end the foundation series with the trilogy . After the immense success of the trilogy , persuaded by his publishers , Asimov wrote 4 more books. One prelude ,talking about Hari seldon and 3 after the second foundation.

Seeing me go all gaga over the series, My dear wife decided to give me a perfect birthday gift . She gifted me all the foundation series books she could get hold of (and some more). Now my collection has all books except Foundation and Earth(Last copy in stock of which I was able to grab on amazon recently)Foundation's Edge Book cover

This is a review of Foundation’s Edge , the book that follows the original triology’s last book .

Generally whenever authors revisit their original trilogies and try to juice out whatever is left of the story , they lose the essence , the style , the soul of the plot.But , in case of Asimov, I am happy to report that it is not the case.

Everything from the gripping plot , the twists and turns ,and the doses of science is perfect. It does not seem that this book was written separately from the original series.

Plot Highlights (Mild Spoiler Alert):

//Spoiler Alert Start//

This books picks up where the last foundation series book left in which the Foundation is made to believe that Second foundation is wiped out . Many years have passed and another Seldon crises is averted. So much so that it seems the Seldon Plan is almost 100% on track. It is too good to be true ,and whenever something is too good to be true , you suspect :) . That is exactly what some of the Foundationer’s do. This is their attempt to find the Second Foundation Again.

One of the best part of the story is on how Second foundation is finally shown in a more humane light. How in-spite of their mental strengths they are not immune to the basic human emotions such as jealousy , greed , ambition and how even the best of them can fall for them. The structure and expansion of the Second Foundation is also detailed out .

//Spoiler Alert Ends//

Nevertheless there are some pretty big plot twists and surprises which I cannot reveal without revealing the whole story .

Should you Buy this Book? HELL YEAH . There is no good reason to miss this if you have read the foundation trilogy.

I am sure my Wife regrets her decision of giving me these books since I have spent almost every free second I had in past few days , hooked up to the book.I was also part of a Clan on an iPad game called Clash of Clans , I got so engrossed that I did not even log in and was kicked out of the clan :P . Books Win over online Games :).

Now Awaiting the delivery of the next part of the series  Foundation and Earth

   

#FastForHer for gender equality – Really?

#FastForHer . So there is a new trend where Men are being urged to fast along with their wives for “Karva chauth” . It is claimed that it is to show how much their wives mean to them and promotes gender equality .

But I ask you all : Really? Gender Equality ..How?

Here is the way I look it : Karva chauth is a hindu tradition where women fast for the long lives of their husbands , they go to the extent of not even having a drop of water to show their love and dedication for the Man. In our male dominated society customs are made to give ego boost to men and encourage women to sacrifice  and this is a shining example of it.

I do not see how this #FastForHer promotes gender equality . It is like saying that

As a woman you anyways Have to go through this suffering , you have no choice because it is your fate for being a woman . I, a man ,on the contrary am free from such bondage , but just to make you “feel” equal, I too will fast for you , going against tradition , such a great Man I am.

How does suffering of two make it better than suffering of one? In an age when people should be talking about removing the taboo around Not keeping karva chauth , we are asking men to jump in too, making it more difficult for a woman who does not want the fast , she can no longer say no due to the compounded guilt.

Many woman keep this fast because otherwise “Log kya kahenge” , that is the what needs to be removed , not compounding that guilt .

Female :Honey , I do not want to keep the fast 

Male : Come on baby , I will keep it with you. (Somehow that is supposed to make your suffering less)

 

Some people claim that it is Feminism …No it is not , feminism talks about equalizing opportunity for men and women, not equalizing suffering . 

I am not against women who want to keep a fast , it is their choice and if it gives them satisfaction of any kind , who am I to judge . But if you ask men to keep karva chauth out of guilt , guilt of how much their wife is suffering for them, you open up a Pandora box.

I do not even question the men who keep a fast for their wives, please by all means-go for it, but do not pretend that it uplifts the stature of woman in the society , it does not . it just enforces the expectation that she anyways has to keep it , and by keeping the fast for her ,you basically get more brownie points .

People will not talk about how great your wife is because she kept a fast for you , because it was anyways expected , they will speak about how progressive you are because you too kept it for her. The only reason to keep fast would be that you perhaps get satisfaction out of it or your wife feels good about it , it does not uplift her stature or give her gender equality .

What next ? How else do you want to promote gender equality ? Running around with a weight tied to your abdomen when your wife get’s pregnant? How ill it make it better? If that makes your wife feel better , you have a sadist wife who enjoys your suffering , don’t you think?

Or Demanding that men be paid less to bring them at parity with women employees who are paid less for the same work?Don’t reduce woman’s suffering but increase men’s ..

Come on CB’s(Chetan Bhagat’s)  of the world …demand lower pay for your work..because GenderEquality ..Meh

FastForHer ? No Thank you ..