Dealing with Hate Sites has been one of the concerns of the regulatory
agencies concerned with Cyber Space. Hate sites against individuals
can be handled under defamation laws. Hate sites against Companies have
also been handled under defamation laws. Additionally when hate sites against
Companies have used domain names such as companysucks.com etc, attempts
have been made successfully to evict the owner of the site owner from the
domain name using UDRP.
It is the hate sites against Countries and Communities which have often
defied a legal solution. The existence of such sites damage peace and harmony
in the Community if let un attended. At the same time excessive attention
to such sites may actually further the cause of the negative propaganda.
Also, if the regulators over react in regulating to such sites, the general
community has to pay by restricted freedom for the activities of one or two rogue elements in
the society. It is like an odd tax evader promting the tax authorities to impose new taxes or complicate regulations to
The responsible elements in the community have to closely monitor the
emerging situation so that the anti national hate sites are nipped in the
bud with timely moderate regulation.
India is one of those countries which has been under the pressure from cross border terrorism
along its borders with Pakistan, and Burma. The Internet
has now come in handy for these anti social elements to spread
hatred amongst the community to further the cause of terrorism. It
has therefore become an important task of the Cyber Security Agencies
in the country to take preventive and punitive action so that Cyber Space
is not used to harm the sovereignty of the country.
In this context we would like to bring to the notice of the Indian Government
a site www.hinduism.org. The name indicates that it is a site that should logically be
promoting the cause of Hinduism. On the other hand it is a site devoted
to false propaganda against hinduism aimed at provoking the public. This site appears
to be from the same group which runs www.dalitstan.org.
The site does not stop at creating a Musilim-Hindu divide, but
it also tries to promote Tamil Divide and Dalit Divide. In this sense, the site is more dangerous
than a Taliban site.
Some observers may dismiss the two sites as irrelevant. But the sites have
enough potential to irritate the excitable elements in the Hindu society and provoke them to act
irrationally against some other groups in the society. If this happens, then the inaction of the
community at the present juncture would be devastating.
naavi.org had already discussed the issue of dalitstan.org some time
back. In the course of that discussion, a moderate suggestion was also made for
controlling such rogue sites. It has now become necessary to look at the
possibility of an action on a different plane altogether.
In the case of www.hinduism.org, it may be possible to invoke
the Domain Name Dispute Resolution mechanism to take over the disputed domain name so that the
misuse of the domain name for anti national activities can be curbed
to some extent. This could be done by some organisation that can logically lay a claim on the name.
The reason is, that if some group wants to distribute anti
hinduism literature over the web, they should do it under their own banner or under
an antihinduism.org banner. Using the name of hinduism.org to promote anti hinduism is mischievous
and a blatant misuse of the freedom of speech. For example, if I want to criticise Democracy,
I must use a Democracy-hate.com site rather than democracy.com. Even then, freedom of speech does not
empower me to spread false information on the subject of democracy.
The word "Hinduism" represents a faith and a community. We may not all
agree on what exactly it represents, but we do agree that it does represent
a common faith and belief. There are Hindu Mutts like the Kanchi
Mutt or the Sringeri Mutt, or the Puri Mutt, or Badri Mutt who have a major
claim on the practice of Hinduism. There are Mutts of the Udupi and several
other places who are also representatives of the Hindu faith. Additionally,
there are organisations such as VHP and RSS as well as political parties
like BJP and Shiva Sena who do have a recognition for representing the
community of Hindus. Any of them individually, and without doubt all of
them collectively, have some right on the word "Hinduism".
The right mght not have been presently defined and may not be exactly like the right
of a Trade Mark owner. But it is a logical right to protect a community property against abuse
While Hindus may like to protect the name because of their respect
for the religion, Muslims, Dalits and Tamils may also want to protect the name from misuse because
the repercussions can hurt them in the long run. If therefore
there is a domain name dispute, any Hindu or more appropriately a well known organisation of
Hindus will have a better claim on the
name hinduism.org than perhaps the Talibans, the Mujahiddeens, Huriyat
Conferences or the Pakistan Government.
There are already established domain name cases where such hate sites
in the name of Companies have been shut down particularly when the information
is false and malafied. Time has come to test the will of the community
to use the existing Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policies to counter
hate sites such as hinduism.org. For this, the Indian Government or any
other organisation having a claim on "hinduism", must file an arbitration
notice to ICANN and claim a right to own the hinduism.org site. Hopefully,
ICANN arbitrators can be convinced that there is a case for taking the
domain name away from the existing owners. This will not be much different
from Governments claiming right on domain names with the country names
(e.g.: Canada Government Case).
If there is any hesitation on the part of ICANN, diplomatic level approaches
to reach out to ICANN can be tried. If ICANN still refuses to accede the right
over "Hinduism.org" to the Government of India, they may made to face the charge
of abetting and encouraging terrorism and anti national activities against
India as a country. Let's examine if the freedom of speech rights in USA are loose enough to
be used for organized spread of terrorism against independent countries like India.
The suggestion may look drastic but probably it would be inevitable
in the current context.