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Stepping up its pressure on Hindutva forces, the government today announced that the use of RSS feeds in India would be banned. While this decision seems to be aimed at stalling the progress of Narendra Modi, there have also been a number of conspiracy theories that have led to this decision.
“It is a Hindutva conspiracy to dominate cyberspace and we shall not allow it”, said Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Manish Tiwari. “Look at the colour of the icon! If that doesn’t tell you who is really behind all this, nothing else will.”
The RSS, however, has remained silent on this issue. On the condition of anonymity, a pracharak said, “We don’t even know there’s something called RSS feed.” This reporter confirmed this statement by visiting the Sangh’s website, which does not have an RSS feed.
Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan attacked the RSS for such a claim. “Of course they don’t have it! They are literally feeding off other websites!”
Adding fuel to fire, Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav said, “Look who has created it in the first place. A man named Ramanathan Guha. A Hindu. This is so clear.”
This decision has sent the entire cyberspace into tizzy and has polarised netizens.
Twitter also trended this topic heavily with the proponents of the ban claiming the entire world was duped into a Hindu conspiracy. While popular tweeters like Shashi Tharoor wants an XML based feed originating from Kochi, the main trend-setters wanted a more equitable name.
One Twiterrati even went on the draw comparisons between the RSS and Microsoft. He alleged, “RSS Feeds = Microsoft Works.”
While this decision will not affect websites outside India, it will be interesting to see how websites would be tracked for the now objectionable RSS content in India.
A few alternative names have also come up in the wake of this decision. InterNet Content (INC), Dynamically Monitored Kontent (DMK) and All India Dynamically Monitored Kontent (AIADMK) were discussed. A decision would be made soon, depending on who the government wants to go with in the next elections.
Mayawati’s demand of naming the feeds after Dalit superhero Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was also immediately rejected.