Many physicists today postulate the existence of multiple universes, even when sober. We used to live in a world of infinite possibilities. Now we live in an infinite number of worlds. India shines. Democracy thrives. The economy booms. A hundred flyovers bloom. This is not that India. If you see your picture here one day, don’t worry. That’s not you.
The Information Technology Act was put together after the Government of India discovered the internets in the year 2000. They had suspected its existence for some time, but it was confirmed after a special task force was sent to the UK to study Sir Timothy Berners-Lee. Not wishing to fall behind China, the Indian government then quickly put together a law to guide citizens in cyber space. Since the law was put together in a hurry, the language is slightly loose, and suggests that causing ‘annoyance’ or ‘inconvenience’ could be major crimes.
In a recent interview, noted poet and Union Minister Kapil Sibal, who looks for cartoons of Sonia Gandhi in his spare time, said that ‘we would have to see the law in action to understand whether it was working or not’. Based on the evidence so far, this is what we can see :
1) No one can pretend to be Manmohan Singh, except Manmohan Singh.
2) If a suspected rapist is a minister, and lives in Kerala, he should be treated with the utmost sensitivity. Offenders will be subjected to love sonnets by Shashi Tharoor.
3) No type of Chidambaran should be mentioned.
4) Jokes about Mamata Banerjee should not be made, however funny they may seem at the time (whether online or offline, this is generally inadvisable)
5) It is positively forbidden to suggest that anyone in Bombay is scared of being attacked by the Shiv Sena. Failure to comply could lead to attacks by the Shiv Sena.
6) In general, this law has seen widespread use in the state of Maharashtra, most notably in the case of two Air India employees who were jailed for 12 days for inconveniencing the NCP, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sharad Pawar.
Has the government taken any action post these arrests? We are pleased to report that it has. As per an order issued in January, the police cannot arrest anybody without authorization from an Inspector-General. This means that we should not mock people who have Inspector-Generals on speed dial (e.g. Karti Chidambaran).
The other common factor in each of the above events is that the victims are all VIPs. The government will shortly be issuing a list of VIPs who should not be annoyed, as a guideline for the public. A list of approved tweets is also being generated. While it is yet to be released, our sources are able to confirm that, post scrutiny by the competent authority, three of the approved messages are as follows :
In sum, while the actual nature of this crime is yet to be defined, there is no doubt that it is a grave one. The maximum penalty is three years, compared to two years for causing death due to negligence. This means that annoying Karti Chidambaran is 50% more heinous than causing the death of an ordinary human being, such as you. The next time you feel the urge to be funny at his expense, we recommend that you write it down on a small slip of paper and pass it around. This is much safer than Facebook or Twitter, and in cases of arrest, the evidence can always be swallowed.