Perpetuation of the hard earned rights and liberties of individuals, enabling a free society can be accomplished only when there is a guaranteed voice for the public. This highly important voice of public has undergone extensive metamorphosis, and has been evolving with greater capabilities with every passing day.
Like every other social asset, these media are natural, double-edged swords with opportunities of using and misusing them. Although the primary objective of these public voices, or the media is to become what they were created for, i.e, to present the combined opinions of the masses as a single, unified, loud voice, which the authorities, in many cases the Governments would give heed to.
On the contrary, and quite as expected, these channels for public voices, instead of talking for the people, have many a times taken a U turn and have been engaged in curtailing the quintessential rights of people.
This toggling behavior of the media has been true in the case of most of today’s obvious technologies: The Printing Press, Radio, Television, Telephony, and now the Internet. These have all played major roles, either by supporting or hindering the rights of the individual.
The historical understanding of the role media have played very well substantiates their importance.
Betrayal of the people by the media, and taking up a stance against the people, on behalf of hegemonic authorities has been a symptom indicating unhealthy governance systems. To eradicate such cancers, a neutral medium, independent of the Governments, or monopolies had to be created.
The Internet, started off by giving lot of optimistic hope on those lines, and was successful until only it was sparsely available to the common people. With its increasing ubiquity, the threat Internet could pose to the biggies in their anti-people endeavors has been shrewdly identified and all efforts to curb the democracy in the Internet is underway.
Curtails on the freedom of expression, on a media like Internet could be catastrophic. A collapse of democracy in the Internet, would naturally culminate into the collapse of democracy in the Governance itself.
The Internet has the potential to become the most democratic voice of the masses, which has eluded the human civilization for ages. It has flaws, but it is the best tool at our disposal in today’s world. Instead of making it better, a growing menace of curbing it and negating the essence of democracy in the Internet has been ongoing at a very brisk pace.
When sanguine initiatives like the Wikileaks, in the people’s perspective are being harrassed and abused by the most powerful of the Governments world across, it acts as an indicator of the quality of democracy, or the pseudo democracy we all believe to be living in.
In the conflicts of people and the authoritarian regime in the oligarchies of the day, we need to vanguard the one, big voice we have come to arrive at : Freedom of Expression in the Internet. With the trend of increased laws and curtails on the Internet, we will lose out, probably the best opportunity presented to our generations.
Keeping Internet closer to the people, is the only real way forward.
PS: Working on these lines, we have started campaign in support of Wikileaks and Web Democracy. If you feel concerned, join us.
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