Blocking websites is a rather bad habit that the government authorities in Pakistan have gotten into (here and here). This is something that we have written about before. It is silly habit, because technologically it does not work. But, much more importantly, it is a disturbing habit because it points towards a desire by those in authority to "control" the passions of the public. Democracy demands the very opposite – that the people control teh passions of those in power.
But the real question is, that if YouTube is blocked, then why?
There would be those who could imagine that it is because all of the mujras, soft porn and supposedly "sexy" and indecent material that might be "corrupting" Pakistani minds – not that the Pakistani or any human mind really needs YouTube to further "corrupt" our sensibilities!
But this time, the general opinion is that th ban is more "political" than "cultural". A large number of videos with actual footages of electoral rigging were placed on YouTube and the view is that the "ban" or the "technical difficulties" that have come up are really a way to distract attention in Pakistan away from these videos, at least for the time being.
Here, for example, are two of the video … its being recorded secretly, so you will need to turn up the volume and listen carefully.
NOTE: The original videos we have posted were later removed from YouTube, these are the same videos but re-posted on YouTube later:
A number of other videos of such rigging have since been removed and one cannot be sure how long these will last. Given that this is YouTube, one should also put in a caveat that even though these look quite legit one can never be sure if these are propaganda or counter-propaganda instruments that are staged themselves. Of course some of this is all still in the realm of speculation, and we ask our readers to exercise due caution in the use and interpretation of all this.
The ban – if, indeed, it s not a technical hitch, may or may not be because of the videos. Even if it is not, it is despicable for the same reason previous bans were. And even if it is not, the videos themselves are despicable for all the obvious reasons. All of this will, of course, become all the more despicable if, indeed, there is a real ban or other government interference in this and it is because of these videos.