Internet Changes Coming to India in 2003

From Kelly Manjula Koza’s archives: I wrote this satire in 2002 while in Kerala, India.

Bangalore—Indian government officials today called for new polices regarding internet use in the country. Recognising that the internet has and will continue to play an important role in the development of India into one of the world’s leading technology producers, but concerned that that traditional Indian culture will be lost in the modernisation, government officials mandated the following changes designed to instill Indian tradition into the internet.

The step-by-step implementation of these polices will begin 1 January 2003. 

  • The internet will close on all bank, public and religious holidays.  
  • Lunchtime closing will be from 1.30 to 2.30 daily.
  • Foreigners using the internet in India for over six months will be required to register at the District Office, providing in triplicate the completed form FOR.INT456, along with 3 copies of the passport and visa, a list of all website addresses they plan to visit, and the address of their local ISP. If using a laptop brought into the country to access email, the serial numbers of all software loaded onto the laptop must be listed on form SOFT789, which must be provided to the local police department along with a CD copy of each software programme. An HIV test is not necessary.  
  • All email addresses will be changed over the next three years to reflect traditional Indian address conventions.
    • First, the “@” symbol will be replaced by “near to”: KShiva@yahoo.com will become KShivaneartoyahoo.com. This change will be put into effect 1 January 2003, but as it will take some time to update millions of lines of code in internet servers to handle the change, a slight delay in email delivery is expected.
    • Second, so as to instill pride across the country for local contributions to the world wide web, the correct identification of the local mail server will be implemented in all Indian email addresses: KShivaneartoyahoo.com will become KShivaneartothiruvananathapuramyahoo.com. In large cities, if there is any confusion as to the mail server, a qualifier can be added: KShivaneartothiruvananathapuramyahoo.com.oppositerailwaystation.
    • Third, the full use of initials denoting all of a person’s names will be encouraged: KShivaneartothiruvananathapuramyahoo.com.oppositerailwaystation will become KKBGShivaneartothiruvananathapuramyahoo.com.oppositerailwaystation. From this point, it will be natural to discard the English tradition of truncated Indian names, and add the full last name to the email address: KKBGShivaramakrishnamurthiswamineartothiruvananathapuramyahoo.com.oppositerailwaystation.

Each change to the email address will require completion of application INTCHANGE.3345 and a fee of Rs150 payable by cheque to the local branch offices of The Minister of Internet. Due to increased workload, applications are being taken online only. Applications containing an incorrect email address will be denied. 

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@2002 KM Koza