Indian Government has reportedly taken an extreme step in the aftermath of North-East exodus by imposing a nationwide ban on bulk SMS and MMS. This ban would last for a minimum of 15 days, we are told.
The ban is an animated move by the government to control the widespread rumours and threats, after the recent mass exodus of North-East people from Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. Approximately, 16000 people have left their states in the last three days.
North-Eastern people are reportedly being threatened using various forms of social media and other sources of technology. According to rumours, some group belonging to Muslim community has threatened these people to leave cities or they could face invidious consequences. They were reportedly given the deadline till Ramadan, which is to be celebrated on August 20.
Government has asked relevant agencies to monitor social media websites for hateful, inflammatory or offensive content. Cellular operators have been instructed to block all bulk SMSes, so that no one can send a text to more than five people at a time. Government has also put restrictions on MMS, restricting their size to mere 25 KB. These regulations are applicable nationwide from today itself, irrespective of the operator and state you are in.
Police meanwhile are trying to trace anonymous messages but as we know, it’s nearly impossible to control cyber space. There is no way to prevent upload of doctored clips over Internet. Besides, there are numerous ways of sending anonymous text messages.
Earlier, Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil and Samajwadi Party MP Ramgopal Yadav had proposed an interim ban on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. According to Home Ministry, these sites have been used extensively to threaten people and in spreading rumours.
However, this is what Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India had to say on this:
“Our people are one. We will do anything and everything possible to maintain the peace and unity in the nation. We would appreciate participation of all state governments to work cordially with local communities and various organizations, in order to restore peace in our nation”