The court may, however, have strayed into contestable areas as it said freedom of information was not absolute.
The Supreme Court has asked search engines run by tech giants like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft to filter out advertisements offering sex determination tests on expecting mothers. It’s not an unreasonable demand by the judges to call on the vast technical expertise of such companies to create an ecosystem through which self-regulation is in place. Surely these companies, that offer efficient ways to search the Web, can see reason behind the request. Besides being against the law to sell space for prenatal sex tests as parents may look to abort if it’s a girl, it has scope to skew the country’s sex ratio further. There is already a major shortage of brides, even in states that have a high education profile.
The court may, however, have strayed into contestable areas as it said freedom of information was not absolute. It’s possible to argue no freedom is absolute, but to try curb it consciously is a major issue, while upholding the cardinal principles and true values of democracy. It’s fine to say the search engines must do more to block gender test ads in India, where it’s anyhow illegal, quite another to insist it must somehow censor all knowledge of sex determination tests simply because Indians misuse such knowledge, and aborted eight million foetuses in the decade before 2011. To eliminate such an act of discrimination on the basis of gender must be pursued for India’s betterment. But we shouldn’t call for censoring content. What is a sociological goal for the nation is commerce for unethical medical professionals, and that’s a pity.