Fernandes becomes an eligible bachelor, courtesy cyber squatters
“Hi! I am George Fernandes. I am currently single. So any good looking girls out there who are interested in someone who is cute, funny and likes socializing, then I am the guy for you. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at my homepage, www.georgefernandes.com”. No. It is not Union Defence Minister George Fernandes, who is on the wrong side of 70, looking out for a girlfriend. The person in question is a 21-year-old student from Slough, UK, and also happens to be the Union Defence Minister’s namesake. Unfortunately for the Defence Minister, even if he didn’t want to, he will have to live with the proclivities of his namesake, at least in the cyber world. A domain name once registered is generally for keeps – until one seeks an international body’s help like pop star Madonna did earlier this week. When one surfs the net for famous Indian names, it becomes amply evident that they (Indian leaders) are still to get their act together in the cyber world. Cyber squatters in the US have made www.whitehouse.com a pornography site. And enterprising (read opportunistic) Indians are not to be left behind. Quite a few famous names in India have been taken up by cyber squatters and the latter are willing to give up the site to the deserving owner – but only at a hefty price. Take for example the site www.atalbiharivajpayee.com. Prime Minister Vajpayee’s name has been usurped and a site created by an unknown Indian residing in the US. The site has lot of praise and information about the Prime Minister, but it also has links to worldchat.com, cochinairport.com, keralavoice.com and malayalacinema.com. The site then comes across as a marketing tool used by the Prime Minister to market Kerala-related products including voice chat! The Congress leaders’, too, are not untouched by the net mania. Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s site flashes a “Forbidden” message if anyone tries to access www.soniagandhi.com. One is left wondering why should anybody form a website if the net surfers are to be denied access to it. However, the websites of Gandhi clan’s next generation is not so inaccessible. Surfers can easily gain access to www.priyankagandhi.com or www.rahulgandhi.com but will be severely disappointed if they are trying to look for some personal details of Priyanka and Rahul. Priyanka Gandhi’s site has a nice picture of her smiling and looking pretty – but that’s about it. Beyond it, the site goes on to link you to www.ipyar.com and other mushy romantic sites. It’s high time that the who’s who of Indian politics and other famous personalities get their act together and take steps to protect their identity in the cyber world in the years to come or they will be left begging for an identity in fast-shrinking world of the internet.