Normally I don't think much of blogs. The phenomenon has largely bypassed me. I mean how is it worthwhile to read what (mostly) unaccomplished writers put on their pages? It provides a space for what someone recently called "citizens' journalism", but the hype, I thought, and still think, is way overblown. Totally disproportionate with its modest actual value.
However, I am urged by circumstances to start this. A couple of days ago a number of ISP-s in my country, India, suddenly blocked many blogging sites, allegedly at the behest of the Union government. Many web forums erupted in protest; there was much talk of taking it up with politicians at formal and personal levels. Comparisons were made with similar restrictions in China. NDTV and maybe some other channels covered the news on national television.
What worked, I don't know. I have no truck with politicians, nor with those who do. But the blogs seem to have returned, as of last night. Which is good. And I decided that it was perhaps a good time to start one of my own.
Not because I have a lot to say here, or that I see much value in most blogs (which I don't), but simply because blogging has been threatened, and the threat might return. Our freedom is not guaranteed. Someone famous (one of the early American nationalists?) once said something to the effect that the price of perfect freedom is constant vigil. The retreat of the reactionaries may be only temporary, while they take measure of the protest. Perhaps we shall see more severe blocking in the days to come.
And it is indeed sad to see that India has now joined the global trend of suppressing citizens' liberties in the name of fighting terror. More on that in a later post, perhaps.
As Mahatma Gandhi once said, if someone tries to suppress one of my essential liberties, it will be my sacred duty to try to exercise that liberty, on peril of distress, no matter whether I usually exercised it under normal circumstances. If I weren't a religious man, I should still make it a point to go to a temple, if suddenly the government banned all temple-going.
In that selfsame spirit, here's my blog, and here's my first post.