New Delhi. After ordering to cover Mayawati and Elephant statues in Uttar Pradesh as they could influence voters, Election Commission has ordered all websites and chat services to ban the “cool” smiley – a smiling human face wearing dark sunglasses – because it resembles a laughing Karunanidhi.
Election Commission fears that this could heavily influence innocent citizens of India into voting for DMK – Karunanidhi’s party that is in opposition in Tamil Nadu and a partner in the ruling UPA coalition at center.
It should be noted that the “cool” smiley appears when someone types “B-)” in a chat-box and hits “Enter”. The chatting services convert the three characters into a “cool” smiley, which has been identified as “Karunanidhiface” by the Election Commission of India.
“We have received formal complaints from various parties, especially from AIADMK and allies, that DMK had been enjoying this unfair advantage in the online domain where people would randomly draw this Karunanidhiface after cracking a joke during chatting,” Chief Election Commissioner SY Qureshi informed.
When asked how could have DMK lost the last year’s assembly elections if people were influenced so easily by what they see, Qureshi said that it could have been due to slow internet speed, which stopped the smileys from being rendered on computer screens for many people.
“Instead of seeing a Karunanidhiface, they were irritated to experience a slow internet connection, possibly running on the 2G technology, and were reminded of the 2G scam more than Karunanidhi’s laughing face with cool sunglasses,” Qureshi explained DMK’s loss.
The Chief Election Commissioner further said that with the 3G technology in place and broadband speed improving for many citizens, it was imperative that a level playing field was created in the online domain.
“We even asked Kapil Sibal, the honorable telecom minister, and he agrees that such smileys, apart from any other objectionable things like RSS feeds and Twitter trends, should be banned,” Qureshi claimed.
He further claimed that all the online chatting service providers and websites have been asked to create a new “cool” smiley that didn’t look like Karunanidhi or any other bespectacled Indian politician, not even Gandhiji.
Qureshi refused to react to BSP’s demand of banning hand, lotus, and bicycles as they could influence voters too. However, he said that Election Commission was seriously considering banning the Sunny Deol starrer Gadar – Ek Prem Katha in Uttar Pradesh as it showed him uprooting a handpump – the election symbol of RLD led by Ajit Singh, now a union minister.
“The scene was deemed to be derogatory and insulting to Sri Singh’s party and could have influenced people into voting against the RLD-Congress combine,” Qureshi said.