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Katju on Abhishek Manu Singhvi CD

Only if curbs are placed on social media will reputations of people be safe in India.

Newslaundry comments: We are sure Mr Singhvi followed up this letter with a bouquet of roses. At least he knows someone cares.

To

Mrs. Ambika Soni,

Hon’ble Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting

New Delhi.

22.4.2012

Dear Mrs. Soni,

I am deeply distressed that a new practice has developed in the social media of its misuse for defaming people/groups/religions/communities. The recent example is of dissemination of a CD which even the author admitted  had been distorted for defaming a reputed senior lawyer of the Supreme Court and Member of Parliament, and the threat to defame a Union Minister. The social media kept uploading the CD despite a Court injunction against it and despite the author admitting that he had doctored it.

In my opinion unless some curbs are placed on the social media nobody’s reputation will be safe in India.

I have repeatedly said that while there is freedom of the media in our country, no freedom can be absolute, and has to be coupled with responsibilities. The reputation of a person is a valuable asset, and cannot be permitted to be trampled upon by mischievous people. The social media often acts irresponsibly, which can irreparably damage a person’s reputation.

I would therefore request you to set up a team of legal and technical experts to find out ways and means of checking this menace, including, if the government thinks fit, initiating suitable legislation for this purpose, for filtering out such offensive material.

Yours sincerely,

(Markandey Katju)

Image Source [http://www.flickr.com/photos/declanjewell/2447653142/sizes/l/in/photostream/]

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  • Anmol

    It is foolish to expect people to behave in a manner to uphold anybody’s reputation. Face it, the world is changing thanks to social media and the internet. And the elite (politicians, lawyers, whoever) have to deal with it. Recently, academics were complaining about how their authority was not given credit on wikiepdia. On the internet, you’re just another person. Too bad they still think they can control the system. And who says laws are always ‘right’. Alcohol, caffiene and nicotine cause more harm than LSD, DMT, Mescaline, Psyclobin. The former are legal, while the latter are illegal. Prostitution has been going on since time immemorial. Yet it is ‘illegal’. The world is changing.