November 12, 2018
At 7 minutes to midnight (New Delhi time) on November 11, 2018, the Indian government sent us at BannedThought.net an email informing us that in less than two days time it would hold a hearing in New Delhi to decide upon blocking public access by people in India to this website, or at least to the parts of it which contain materials from India and which express the views of large numbers of people in India which the government disapproves of. While we were invited to send a representative to argue our case at that hearing, this is not only impractical for time and financial reasons, it would also obviously be a total waste of time. (Or possibly even lead to our representative being arrested and imprisoned as has recently been happening even to people’s lawyers in India!) The committee meeting on Nov. 14 will almost certainly be a mere bureaucratic formality in any case. And there is nothing that we could say there that we don’t already say on our website—namely that we fervently support the right of free speech and the right to publish and distribute progressive or revolutionary materials not only in India, but everywhere in the world. This extremely basic democratic right is opposed by the current ruling class in India. So there is no point for us to say anything further at this meeting or elsewhere to this despicable anti-democratic ruling class bent on the suppression of all ideas that they disagree with.
[The email sent to us by the Indian government on Nov. 11, 2018.]
[The attached list of specific pages to be blocked on BannedThought.net]
The letter and attachment above, from the Cyber Laws & e-Security Group of the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology of the Government of India show their intention to censor and block access by people in India to the portions of BannedThought.net which provide documents and information about India. Note that the reason they give for this censorship is that these pages contain “Naxal and Anti-National Propaganda”. Of course all reactionaries consider that views opposed to their own are only “propaganda” and insist that the people should only be allowed to see the government’s viewpoint.
BannedThought.net exists to struggle against the fascist-like suppression of progressive ideas and thought by reactionary governments and their agents anywhere in the world. We attempt to publicize such suppression and—when possible—to post documents and publications that have been suppressed elsewhere. Though not based in India, nor operated by Indian citizens, nor with any connection to organizations in India, we got started in late 2007 in reaction to the banning and suppression of the Indian revolutionary magazine People’s March, and the arrest of its editor, by the authorities there. Over the years since that time we have posted a great deal of material from India and other countries which is banned (or otherwise virtually inaccessible) there. There has been so much posted from India because the government there bans and suppresses so very much.
Although the present rulers of India do not seem to understand this basic fact, their ever-expanding censorship of ideas and banning of websites, publications and organizations they disapprove of is a tremendous self-exposure of their real nature. Wouldn’t you think that the authorites in a country would be embarrassed to ban and block access to a website like ours that only exists to expose the suppression of ideas? They still do claim to be a “democracy”, but that has obviously become a totally hollow lie. India is more and more clearly becoming an openly fascist country.
If you know of progressive publications or documents which are banned or suppressed in India or anywhere else in the world, please let us know about them so that we may inform others of this and possibly post them on this site. At present, and because of our own language deficiencies, we are mostly posting items in English. Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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BANNEDTHOUGHT.NET is independent and unaffiliated with any political party. While our sympathies are of course with the struggles of the oppressed and exploited peoples of the world, our goal here is simply to expose attempts to censor or suppress progressive ideas and to make available publications and documents which have been suppressed in one or more countries.