Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Banning Airtel Dish

Some powerful forces in the Maldives are lobbying for a ban on Airtel dish antennas. We would like to believe that such forces are motivated by purely altruistic reasons such as protecting our culture and religion. However there are reasons to believe that it goes a bit beyond this.

The Airtel package is an India-based service that offers a large number of channels for the price of $100 per year, which works out to about Rf 100 per month. The cable packages hitherto available in the Maldives are priced at between Rf 300 and Rf 500. With this price difference Airtel dishes are appearing on Male rooftops at a rapid rate.

A few years back, the then Information Minister Nasheed had made an attempt to negotiate with local cable operators to bring down the prices. This attempt was blocked by the same lobbies, which today are gunning for Airtel.

To what extent our culture (or the lack there of) and religion (including our blatant disregard of its tenets) will be affected by the Airtel package is open to debate. But one thing is certain. Religious programs and pornographic material have been widely available in the Maldives for quite some time through imported CDs, video cassettes and radio, even before the appearance of dish antennas and the internet. If we are to close all these avenues we might as well get a time machine and transport us back to Stone Age.


opinions said...

I can see your frustration. I think the current government needs to put their act together and before banning anything that is widely used they better gather the opinion of the public.

A majority of the users of Airtel did not know of this channel until this exposure to media.

I think the people behind this ban is working for the same channel and trying to gather more publicity to this channel.

What can I say.. We are turning back time and moving towards the stone age..

How did the Minister get his doctorate when he doesn't have common sense. Well worth calling him Dj instead of Dr.

Nice blog BTW

Anonymous said...

sad news for those who bought it...if its pornographic material they want censor they have destroy ISP. first go to fry bigger fishes.

meekaaku said...

"... before banning anything that is widely used they better gather the opinion of the public..."

so being widely used is the reason we should be objecting to this ban? What if it was used by a very small minority? Is it ok then?

Anonymous said...

Read this article on Haveeru and you will find out that the story about God Tv is a well scripted drama to put pressure on the Islamic Ministry. http://www.haveeru.com.mv/?page=details&cat=&tbl=online&id=84719

Here a guy from Bnet saying the only way we can stop Airtel is 'raising the religious issue'. And the ministry officials who happen to be from stone age took the bait. Like they banned dancing for Maldivians they came out to ban Airtel dish. If these guys stay in the government for too long they will take away our phones and computers as well. Dj. Majeed has already issued a fatwa on profits made by selling alcohol and pork. Soon we will have to ban non-Muslims coming to Maldives or Maldivians traveling abroad. These guys dont know that even when we live in non-Muslim countries where alcohol, pronography, bibles and churches we do not convert to other religions.

Anonymous said...

A woman stabbed to death (18 times) in a german court room last week


Anonymous said...

Egyptian mourners accuse Germans of racism over reaction to stabbing of veiled Muslim woman

"The killing has dominated Egyptian media for days, while it has received comparatively little coverage in German and Western media.

A German Muslim group criticized government officials and the media for not paying enough attention to the crime.

"The incident in Dresden had anti-Islamic motives. So far, the reactions from politicians and media have been incomprehensibly meager," Aiman Mazyek, the general secretary of the Central Council of Muslims, told Berlin's Tagesspiegel daily.

Egyptian commentators said the incident was an example of how hate crimes against Muslims are overlooked in comparison to those committed by Muslims against Westerners. Many commentators pointed to the uproar that followed the 2004 murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a Dutch-born Islamic fundamentalist angry over one of his films criticizing the treatment of Muslim women.

Abdel Azeem Hamad, chief editor of the independent Egyptian daily el-Shorouk, said that if the victim had been a Jew, there would have been an uproar.

"What we demand is just some attention to be given to the killing of a young innocent mother on the hands of fanatic extremist," he wrote in his column.

An Egyptian blogger Hicham Maged, wrote "let us play the 'What If' game."

"Just imagine if the situation was reversed and the victim was a Westerner who was stabbed anywhere in the world or — God forbid — in any Middle Eastern country by Muslim extremists," he said.

The Egyptian Pharmacists' Association called for a boycott of German drugs. The victim was a pharmacist."


Anonymous said...

Airtel is an export of a 'entertainment service' to the Maldives by India.

In international trade, this is an import from India to Maldives.

Under international law, Maldives cannot ban an import from a country on a discriminatory basis as in this case.

If Airtel is banned, India has all the right to withhold exports of potatoes, onions and river-sand to Maldives.

Lets see what Adalat says when the Government goes begging to India.

Muhammad said...

To anon 12.26 and 11.29,
If this woman paraded along Jumhooree Maidhaan in a nun’s attire and wearing a large cross on her chest, how many times will ‘YOU’ stab her?

Anonymous said...

Islamic Ministry is very concerned people watch Pornographic material on television.The solution is ban the import of this thing called television set.They are also concerned that porn sites can be accessed using mobile telephone, Will they also ban mobile fones and computers,too? I wonder.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1,23 am.
The latest news is they have discovered Maldivian girls have pornographic organs under their clothes. So they are requesting a Saudi Plastic surgery team to come obliterate those.

Anonymous said...

Dhiraagu's Broadband Marathon will be held on Friday (July 10) afternoon. If you think Dhiraagu is ripping us off with their high internet prices and low bandwidth, organise a small protest where the marathon is held. Demand to reduce the internet prices and ask Dhiraagu to offer better packages. Be there with some placards. Internet Aiy Foraa Fashah Agu Heyo Kurey!

Anonymous said...

what about the hindhi channels everyday ppl watch. the idol worships. why wouldn't they ban those channels too.

Anonymous said...

this medianet people think they have all the rights over the maldives within this,entertainment channels, if the government is to produce another company to franchise with airtell i'm sure medianet and bnet will be among them, then we will no longer get these channels in Aiy foruvey agehga, why don't the goverment focus on other problems which the people of male' is suffering, are we eating the healthy fish bying from the fishmarket, who cares... then health ministry wil anounce eat helthee food, bye helthee food, where can we find this, hey, Adaalat peoople, u will be responsible for all these things.