National Library blocks websites following complaints

RTI reply says these had sexually explicit content, displayed violence and contained hate speech

Updated - June 13, 2021 12:33 pm IST

Published - August 05, 2018 10:14 pm IST - Kolkata

 Belvedere House of National Library. Soumya Das

Belvedere House of National Library. Soumya Das

The National Library (NL) authorities have blocked access to websites with sexually explicit content, along with the ones displaying violence and hate speech, from computers within its premises, a recent RTI reply by the NL authorities has revealed.

Websites displaying 13 categories of content have been blocked. According to sources in the NL the decision was taken after the library authorities received complaints that readers and staff members were viewing such content inside its premises. The RTI application was filed by Kolkata-based socio-legal researcher Biswanath Goswami. A complaint was registered earlier by a section of readers.

The RTI reply stated that websites displaying sexually explicit material, advertisements, criminal skills, drugs, and hate speech and sex education were blocked. However, it does not reveal the number of such websites.

In the RTI query details of websites which are “blocked/restricted” in the computers of NL used by general members and NL staff were sought. The then Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) of NL Partha Sarathi Das in his reply on September 20, 2016 claimed that no websites or URLs were blocked at the library. “No such URLs have been blocked for employees or users,” stated Mr. Das.

The CIC, in its order, on April 12, 2018 show caused former CPIO Das for “not furnishing the information sought” and directed the current CPIO Gopa Ghosh to comply.

Criticising the Centre and the NL authorities, Mr. Goswami said, “I will definitely argue for maximum penalty and departmental proceedings against Mr. Das to set an example for others.”

According to the next order of the CIC dated on July 3, 2018, the former CPIO pleaded not to impose penalty on him as three penalties, two of them each amounting to ₹25,000 and one of ₹1250, have already been imposed on him.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.