A PIL was filed today in the High Court of Karnataka by Digital Society Foundation, a Trust interested in the welfare of Netizens in Bangalore,  seeking court direction to the Union of India for necessary action to get the offending video clipping depicting Mahatma Gandhi in bad taste on www.youtube.com. The application will be taken up for consideration on 16th April.
The video under question,  shows a person clad in Gandhi’s trademark attire, pole dancing and stripping for an audience. The video, called ‘Time to get sexy’ was uploaded in December 2006. The 3 minute 24 second act, on Google’s video sharing site, YouTube, is reportedly resulted in angry protests across Ahmedabad , Bhubhaneshwar, Varanasi, with the vulgar portrayal of Gandhi.  Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, also saw members of Gandhi Sena holding a silent protest. Varanasi had a  more violent protest when students of Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth, stopped a train from leaving the Varanasi station and threatened to call for a state-wide shutdown, while the silent protesters demanded action against the creator of the video. The video is also being promoted by the creator in his website www.skinnyindian.com. So far the video at youtube.com has attracted more than 150,000 viewers.
According to a report in Times of India,  there appears to be a difference of opinion amongst two ministries of the Government of India with I&B ministry wanting to get the clipping removed while the IT ministry not taking any action. It appears that the I & B ministry has taken objection to the video being shown on TV and channels such as CNN-IBN and Sahara.. However the Internet media is not under the control of the I & B ministry and hence they have sought the assistance of the IT ministry.
According to ITA-2000, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology alone can take a decision to block rogue sites like youtube.com through CERT-IN. There is also a considered view from Cyber Law specialists such as Pavan Duggal, that the view can be considered to breach Section 67 of ITA-2000 under which the person who has produced the video as well as the website can be punished. Not taking action on the video therefore represents inaction on the part of law enforcement to prevent a cognizable offence even after the same has been brought to their attention.
What is surprising is that while Governments of Thailand and Turkey with similar problems took immediate action to block You Tube after which the offending clippings denigrating their respective national leaders were removed, the Indian Government appears to be reluctant to act even after four months since the controversy broke out.”
Naavi
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