Tuesday, December 21, 2004

India is catching us on the repressiveness front

Just as China is overtaking us on the decadence front, India is catching up to us on the repressiveness front. From a The New York Times article, EBay Fights India Arrest Over Sale of Sex Video.
Avnish Bajaj, chief of Baazee [a unit of eBay that is India's largest Internet auction site], was arrested Friday in a case related to the sale on the Baazee site of a video clip of a teenage couple from an exclusive New Delhi school engaged in a sex act. …

EBay said the video clip was not actually shown on the site - the seller had offered it to buyers by simply describing its content. "The listing violated Baazee.com's policies and user agreement and was removed from the site once it was discovered," the company said in a statement.

In a first-of-its-kind incident in India, the police arrested Mr. Bajaj under the Information Technology Act, which makes publishing or transmitting obscene material in any electronic form punishable by up to five years in jail. …

The National Association for Software and Service Industries, the influential software industry group known as Nasscom, said the arrest and detention of Mr. Bajaj was "not expected of a mature democracy like ours."
But then there are lots of unexpected things that seem to be happening in what one would hope are mature democracies.

Perhaps the lure of money will help.
Kiran Karnik, [president of the National Association for Software and Service Industries], said in a statement that because India is an attractive destination for outsourcing, the government should not send the wrong signals to global customers and investors. Mr. Karnik urged the authorities to release Mr. Bajaj immediately.

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