[Reader-list] Scary Report

pratap pandey pnanpin at yahoo.co.in
Wed Jun 19 22:39:53 IST 2002

Dear All,

Read a scary report on the first page of the Indian Express today. Wanted to call this posting "worried fuckless" but didn't do so on account of being called racist, xenophobic, and a jerk to boot.

The fact is that this report worries me fuckless. If what the report says is true, then senior respected academics needn't worry about protocols of decorum, on a List or wherever. The govt is making sure of it: that no body, I repeat no body, for whatever reason, however intended, well-meant or misplaced, for libertarian, Marxist, post-modernist, or feminist reasons, can say anything against fascists.

"The Centre has asked all International Long Distance (ILD) providers to instal equipment that helps screen voice, data, fax and internet-related calls."

When a newspaper run by Global Aeducated Indians (Yes, GAIs are not reducible to NRIs) carries a report like this, it means that the actual process began at least a year back (Its comfortable, and safe, to report it now). That worries me even fucking more.

So, I want to know: exactly who and what has been under surveillance? This List has carried postings on the fact that surveillance of the citizen, especially the connected ones, has been going on for a while. May I know some more about this fact? Will you, dear all, pitch in and tell me?

"...now service providers have been informed that monitoring equipment should meet the 'military grade standard' "

Wow. That sounds like a major upgrading. The govt is putting the gun to the heads of service providers. Its putting a gun to my head. Must I acquiesce? Now I want to be even more obscene when I talk about fascists on this List. Can I be?

"A Cabinet Secretariat note (dated May 28) lists the equipment and facilities service-providers have to adhere to for 'effective monitoring' from the 'national security point of view'. Officials claim that this is in line with 'a global trend' post-September 11 to monitor suspected terrorist activity"

This List has very-well connected people on it. Will somebody on this List please post these details? I'd like to know exactly how I am being monitored, "effectively". What is the equipment being used? Who's supplying it? Who's is overlooking the process whereby this equipment is declared "adhered to"?

A while ago, there was this attempt on this List to have a debate on Surveillance. At that time, the attempt,kind of, went limp. I believe that now is the time to not only share info on surveillance, but to actually play the game and tell your surveillers a thing or two. Can we talk surveillance, since the govt (as the report makes it very clear) is informing us (via this report) that it intends to track down every word you write to whoever around this world, it intends to do this whether or not you like it, the govt is just going to do it, bugger you, citizen?

I apologise to respected committed senior academics for using the word "bugger". The govt can bugger me, but I can't use this word on this List. Post-modernism does strange things to us, doesn't it?

 "Other key players (apart from Bharti Telesonic, the private provider specifically mentioned in the report) who have got ILD licences include Data Access, Satyam and Reliance."

I access this List via Data Access. This particular quote, which comes at he end of the report, makes it clear that Data Access must be busy upgrading its surveillance equipment so that it can catch "terrorists" in the interest of national security.

The report has rendered me fuckless. "Fuckless" is a neologism. It doesn't mean that you are dysfunctional due to urban stress. It means that you are being rendered structurally dysfunctional. It means that you have been made systematically dysfunctional. The seduction of the word is now under the Gaze. Even a semiotic orgasm is now to be interpreted (in accordance with protocols of interpretation) by no less than the government. You can no longer even write what you want to, just for the fuck of it. Because you are going to be watched. Your words are going to be measured. They are going to be weighted, compared to a non-existant vocabulary of "national security".

National Security is this huge, non-verifiable, non-graspable canopy of urgency that today enmeshes all of us. You can't put a question to it. You can't demand a document in which it is clearly, as a matter of policy, defined. It is a canopy in which every kind of insecurity can be swept into and be forgotten (GUjarat, for instance: since the war-mongering, have we read a single incisive piece on what's happening in Gujarat?). 

The discourse of national security rests on a single foundation: that it does not possess any foundation. This is what gives the discourse of national security its power: it does not take a position, but has the ability and the power to condemn other positions.

The discourse of national security has learnt the lessons of post-modernism so well that it has overwhelmed the world today. Post-modernism at its best (at its most playful, at its most ambiguous, at its best invocation of relativist Pleasure, at its celebration of narrow Skepticism, at its suspicion of Grand Narratives while being the grandest narrative of them all) is, historically speaking, today, nothing but national security.

 National Security is a metaphor of the Global Aeducated Indian. It is his Mantra. Now the Gl;obal Aeducated Indian has transformed this Mantra into a reality. Doing surveillance is like doing GUjarat. Can be done, know that it will be condemned in moral terms, who is bothered? Let the moral condemnation go on. Let us get on with our agenda! 

This govt works like this. But can they be abused, obscenely? No! Not on this List!

Now they are using technology against me. If I abuse fascists on this List in the future, senior respected academics needn't worry. The government will prehaps take care of me.

Is there anybody on this List who is more "committed" than this government? I want to know. I want to know because whereas I can see what this govt is doing, I cannot see what this bunch of so-called committed people on this List are doing. At least one thing I can see: they are not interested in fighting this government. So much for their politics.


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