New Delhi: Refusing to be labeled as an
enemy of the social media, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal has
called for the Internet to be governed by regulations similar
to the print and the electronic media.
"Who says that? I don`t understand how I am an enemy?"
retorted the minister during a discussion that followed the
launch of his new book of poetry here last evening where it
was suggested that certain sections of the media had labeled
him as an enemy of the social media.
"The print media is subject to the laws of this country,
the electronic media is subject to the laws of this country,
My only question is why should social media not be a subject?
"You can`t print something or see something on television
however social media has greater rights than the print or
the electronic media...that does not make me enemy of the
freedom of speech. In fact I have always fought for the
freedom there is just no rationality of discourse," he said.
The minister said it was "imperialism" to "accept
somebody saying that since my server is in the US I don`t care
about the laws of the country".
When it was suggested that Sibal send a poem on Google,
the minister responded, "They don`t have any sense of humour."
Sibal`s whose second volume of poetry titled "My world
within" saw him take potshots at the Left Parties.
In his poem "The Fissile Left" the minister urges the Left Parties who had
withdrawn support to UPA I to "see beyond their noses."
He however painted Surjeet as a "healer" and had kind
comments for Jyoti Basu.
The minister said it was sad that there was no serious
debate on issues anymore in the country.
"Some people think that FDI is not good. There is no
debate in the country over the issue. Nobody wants to discuss
issues...everybody is on television saying this bad this is
bad but there is no debate.
At some stage the discourse has to
change because in the ultimate analysis the future of India is
at stake," says Sibal.
Talking about a paucity of debates in the country, the
minister said "There are only a very few people in this
country who try to understand the other view point. Nobody
wants a dialogue... to understand what others feel, everybody
is on his own trip my writ is right what I say is right. There
are no sensible debates anymore."
Since the minister had written a poem on the Left, why
did he not do so for the Right parties too?
"Because the Left is not Right," said Sibal to peals of
laughter from the audience.
Asked whether Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West
Bengal was a Leftist Sibal responded to even more laughter, "I
dont know whether she is Left or Right. She is Mamata
In his "Bazaar of politics", the minister says he is not
being cynical but just writing about the "realities of India."
"Our politics is in turbulence as the economy waits to
surge ahead. We are unsure whether our political system is
mature enough to take advantage of the enormous opportunities
that await us. Yet beauty lies in confronting the challenges
we seek to resolve," writes Sibal in the book acknowledgments.
The minister`s second volume of poetry dedicated to his
wife Promila, includes love poems, those on the beauty of
nature, friendship and even on on the artist`s soul.