By Soham Chatterjee
They sent out about 10,000 invitations. About 850 responded. Maybe 25 showed up.
Make that 30 if you include the press.
These twentysomethings arrived to “occupy Bangalore,” to protest India’s efforts to shut down “torrent” sites that allow file sharing — and the distribution of pirated movies and music — and to tell the public about India’s attempts to punish people who post “obscene” content on their social media websites such as Facebook or Twitter.
Unlike the May 31 “bandh,” or “shutdown,” which forced much of the city to close as India’s Bharatiya Janata Party protested the rising cost of fuel, it seemed harder to get people to stand up for virtual rights. Internet freedom rallies don’t quite arouse people’s passions in any country, let alone one that already bans the importation of certain books. And remember: this is India’s self-styled technology capital.
“We hoped to create awareness of Internet censorship in India, but I am disappointed with the turnout,” said Anupam, a 22-year-old software engineer.
Some Internet users might have been more aware. A hacker or group of hackers called Anonymous India launched denial of service attacks against Indian government, political parties and corporate websites to protest the government’s blocking of online file and video-sharing websites such as thepiratebay.se and dailymotion.com following a March 29 court order.