For most people, the country Kuwait generally evokes phrases like oil rich nation, hot weather etc. But it’s a country of numerous beaches as well. And what if I tell you that in this country you can take a nice long walk along the beautiful beaches for many months of the year?
Tag: Middle East
Ram Sivasankaran was born in Madras, India, but has spent most of his life abroad largely in the Middle East and the United States of America. He was brought up with stories from Hindu legend and the great epics and classics of both India and the West. In addition to being a passionate student of history in school, Ram built keen interest in stories of valor, heroism, chivalry, beauty and romance.
A day-dreamer of sorts, Ram believes deeply in the power of imagination – the mind being the canvas on which even the seemingly talent-less can create new universes, resurrect eras long gone, bring the gods to life and even resurrect heroes and damsels of yore. As such, Ram makes his debut with a historical novel on one of the greatest and yet, to an extent, less-known warrior from Indian history – Bajirao Bhat, Peshwa of the Maratha Confederacy.
He joins us for a quick tete-a-tete.
Aseem: When did you first feel that you had it in you to become an author?
Ram: I have always written tiny blog posts across many topics such as politics, religion and ancient science and received decent feedback among close friend and family circles. Many have encouraged me to write in a form that ups the scale of both words communicated and audience reached so I decided to give professional writing a try.
The earliest though when I fell in love with writing and recognized any innate ability to do so was in third grade, when my teacher appreciated me for a little story of Winnie the Pooh I had written in the form of a couple of paragraphs.
And another year has gone past us. This was the year when I moved back to the Gulf again. I say again since more than half my life has been spent in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. The last 365 days have been quite interesting meeting people from various countries and learning about various cultures.
From a blogging perspective, I continued taking part in various short fiction prompts and challenges like 5 sentence fiction, 100 word fiction, 42 word fiction, 6 word fiction and so on and so forth. These challenges have always been helpful in keeping the creative juices flowing.
Internet has conquered most of the nooks and corners of the world. It is the ultimate storehouse of information for anyone from a 10 year old student to a 70 year old man. The net has become so popular that it has even been nominated for the Peace Prize for 2010 (though I disagree with it:P). As for any other medium of information, the net also has a lot of problems to contend with like piracy, identity theft, viewing unobjectionable content like porn or ban of certain articles, videos, sites etc in certain countries.
One of the most important questions nowadays is the censoring of this medium. With increasing popularity of any medium be it TV, movies, radio, print media like newspapers, magazines etc censoring of unobjectionable content does come into the picture. But the biggest question is who decides what to censor, when to censor and how much to censor? For countries like Iran, the Middle Eastern countries, China etc, the government has complete control over this issue. In India, this is handled by individual organizations or institutions.
So what kind of content is normally censored? In the Islamic countries and China, it mostly includes porn or any kind of sites or articles which are talking bad about their governments, bad stuff about Islam,terrorism, many social networking sites, inciting unrest and things like that. Their governments are mostly dictatorial or have a monarchy in place. In India many educational institutions and companies ban certain social networking sites and other content to prevent the people from “wasting” their time and concentrate more on the work at hand.
Censoring the content to an extent is possible. Obviously there has to be a proper body which decides the “extent”. I am stressing on the phrase “to an extent” because even with all these blocks at the moment, people do find ways to access the so – called unobjectionable content with ease. The control should be put in a proper manner For eg: During the time of the Tibetan movement as well as the violence after the Iranian elections, since the government blocked all the communication with the outside world, people started using Twitter to inform the world about the real truth unfolding there. But, in these countries the blocking software’s are probably the strongest in the world. In India, organizations and institutions have banned social networking sites like Orkut, Facebook and many other porn and video sites. But somehow or the other people are able to find out proxy sites and access the banned sites with total ease. www.savitabhabhi.com – an Indian soft porn site was the first one to be banned from India officially by the government. But what happened? The person who runs that site, started it again as www.kirtu.com with the server running from outside the country!.
The world of internet is run “by the people, for the people and off the people”. Therefore even if there is something which the people want to access and aren’t able to, they make sure that they get it by hook or by crook
The net is a world in itself. No one answers that they are NOT adults when they go to a porn site and are asked to confirm their age. The controls to be put in place for the different sites have to be chosen based on a set of parameters like the kind of content, the effect on the people, the ability to influence people etc. Rather than just banning everything like a dictator, a more conventional and orthodox approach would help.
The biggest problem in the world of online censoring is about the different rules applied in different countries based on the location of the country, its values, its customs, the kind of people everything. Until this problem is taken care off, online censoring will always be a subject of contention in every debate on the “Power of the Internet”.
THE BIGGEST DISASTER OF EXCESSIVE ONLINE CENSORSHIP IS GOOGLE IN CHINA, WHICH HAS BEEN ON THE VERGE OF PACKING UP SHOP FROM THAT COUNTRY SINCE QUITE SOME TIME!