Tuesday, 29 December 2015 19:02 GFP Columnist - Rattan Mann
Noble Cyber Citizens, welcome to my shortest “Alternative Norwegian King´s New Year´s Message” of 2016.  This “shortness of breath”  is because I have voluntarily gagged myself in protest about utter lack of freedom of speech in this so-called “most free country on earth”.

Sometime back a professor in Oslo University wrote a few harmless lines of comment on my article “Norway - the Most Corrupt and Racist Country on Earth?”  in which he basically said that he agreed with my article because he also had experienced something similar at Oslo University.

I was very surprised to see this comment, and I assumed that somebody was playing a prank under a false name, because I knew that no official of Oslo University dare show this solidarity with me (or anybody else on such issues) publicly.  Two three days later the comment was removed and I was sure I was right.  But I got a little curious to know the “backstory”, and so wrote to GFP publisher Trevor Hill as to what actually happened.

Instead of surprising me, Trevor´s answer shocked me: The comment was indeed written by the professor.  But within two days he was writing urgent emails to Trevor, begging him to remove the comment immediately, because Oslo University was creating big problems for him.  To avoid any possible harm to the professor, Trevor immediately removed the comment, and rightly so.

This is the freedom the “most free country on earth” allows to its citizens - bring them to their knees the moment they utter one word Norway does not want to hear. Mind you, it was just a few lines of comment, not an article.  And in most cases, hardly anybody reads such comments.  But in Norway, even this little freedom of speech is not permissible - Norwegian state sponsored cyberspace spies (Orwellian Thought Police) see to it.

There are some lessons here for all those famous film makers, writers, thinkers, and scientists in India who recently (about the same time as this professor, whose name I dare not mention, wrote that comment) returned their prizes and awards for “lack of freedom of speech” in present day India.  They should celebrate the New Year with pomp and ceremony for living in a great country like India, and its free Press which notices them, acknowledges their protests, and even honours them as they protest.

I, on my part, have nothing to celebrate this New Year, nor, I guess, this honest and courageous professor whose name Norway has erased from cyberspace, and therefore, from human memory.  Noble Cyber Citizens, as you dance and sing and celebrate the arrival of a new dawn, I sit in my dingy bedroom with a gag in my mouth - reading mathematics amidst The Silence of the Lambs unbroken by the screams of joy and celebration from without.

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