So much so, some are comparing this ban on bulk SMSes by the government to curbing their right to freedom of expression
No sooner did the news of the ban on bulk SMSes and MMSes for 15 days across the country (starting August 18) spread, than the nation, including, of course, the world of social media, was abuzz ridiculing this new decree by the government. To check the spread of rumours, which has led to exodus of NorthEastern people from certain states, the government announced this ban. 'No one will be able to send more than 5 SMSes in one go and more than 20 KB of data through mobile phones during the ban period', read the move by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India ( TRAI), done in order to curb the spread of rumours meant to scare and create panic among the NE people in certain states. As a result, all those who must have tried sending more than five SMSes, received something which reads: 'Due to Govt. directives, More than 5 SMS per day are blocked. Please retry tomorrow. Anticipate your co-operation'.
What has irked most of the people is that on any festival, it is commonplace to send SMSes to greet each other, but this five SMS limitation is a cause of worry as people can't send unlimited SMSes. "Since sending greeting cards and all is passe, we normally send SMS to greet each other and on the occasion of Eid, it was annoying as I was stopped after I sent 5 of them. And since Eid is the most important festival for us, I had to call up all my friends and folks," shared Rekha Ahmed (35). For 23-year-old Misbah Khan, who stays away from her family, it was worrisome, as she says, "I could send only 5 SMSes and sadly, I received very few Eid messages from folks and friends. I was upset and though the government wants to curb the spread of rumours meant to hurt the North-East people in India, they could have eased this limitation on festivals, at least."
In the wake of the ban, one comment that was doing the rounds read 'Dear girls, if a guy sends u 5 messages today...Marry him immediately. He is the one.' While the hashtag '5 SMS' was trending on social networking sites, in no time, people took to the sites to voice their opinions. Check out some responses:
dorkU: 'Guys in a relationship celebrate'.
Dhincachica: 'Live bars, Clubs beyond 11:30, films on cars, smoking in pubic & now the ban on SMS beyond 5 started here. It's Ban-galore indeed.'
Panchajanya: 'After 5 SMS a day next what... 5 minute talktime per day?'
Stupidosaur: 'Limiting to 5 SMS a day would encourage determined rumour mongers to buy more SIM cards & increase the efforts needed to track them, no?
"I have this SMS pack which allows me to send unlimited SMS on a given day and with this nonsensical ban, my money has gone to waste because on calling the telecom operator, they said I won't be refunded the SMS pack money," laments Himanshu Tyagi (21). For some, banning SMS is like curbing their freedom of expression. "Nowadays, it is rare that we talk for hours over the phone and we prefer texting, but this 5 SMS limitation is like flouting our right to speech," reasons Kanika Jha (23). 26-year-old Aditi Jain, who works with an advertising firm rues, "Much of my work is done via SMS as most of my clients are based out of the city and we discuss work over SMS but it is getting difficult now because I can't be calling them every time for trivial issues also."
Some endorse the ban
There are some people who are different from the herd and happy with the 5 SMS limitation. Shekhar Saini (24) is happy. He says, "I don't have to send those 'Happy Eid' messages to people now, I find it useless and I am glad that I won't even receive those useless forwarded SMSes." Anita Khanna (26) agrees. "Though I don't send many SMSes, there are people who send me such absurd forwarded messages and now, at least for few days, I will be spared of them."
Sob, sob: GSM and CDMA users
Since the limitation is for GSM and CDMA mobile users, another joke doing the rounds reads, 'Iphone: Shit man, they have only 5 msgs a day; HTC: Ya, it's so rude; Blackberry: Now, whose your daddy'. It's starting a mobile brands war, almost, as users bandy words. "I was anti-Blackberry but today I realise the importance of owning that phone," says 23-year-old Anuj Khaitan.
Source : TOI