Pune technologist stunned over inclusion in govt's blocked list

Aug 24, 2012, 07:01 IST | A Correspondent

Out of the several Twitter handles that have been blocked by the government, 14 belong to Hindu right-wing groups or to those subscribing to that ideology.

However, one blocked account that had the Indian Twitterati both shocked and amused, was that of Amit Paranjape, a tech entrepreneur from Pune.

The 40-year-old IIT-Bombay graduate in mechanical engineering is as bewildered as the rest of the Twitterati. Paranjape tweeted yesterday, “I have no idea why my Twitter ID is in the blocked list! :( Don’t belong to any political group. Hardly tweet any political stuff.”

Perplexed: Amit Paranjape

An avid cricket and Pune history lover, Paranjape’s tweets are mostly about sports, the problems his city faces, and links to stories published in Pune newspaper.

When MiD DAY spoke to Paranjape, he refused to elaborate much on the topic, but said he plans to write to the ministry of telecommunications explaining his stand on the issue. “If needed, I can even speak to them,” he said. “This is quite bizarre, and I want to set the record straight with the authorities.” He refused to speak further, saying he wants to do this “the right way.”

In Pune, Paranjape is best known for mentoring and founding software start-ups. His latest venture is to promote education-related software. He is also a well-known technology blogger and is the co-founder of PuneTech.com, a site that promotes technology-based events in Pune. He tweeted, “Ok folks… this is frustrating, bewildering and confusing! :( ... Hope it’s a mistake.”

Soon after graduating from IIT-Bombay, Paranjape headed to the United States and studied manufacturing systems and engineering management at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. For a large part of his career, Paranjape stayed in the US, working for I2 Technologies before he returned to Pune in 2007 with his wife to set up technology start-ups.

Expectedly, India’s Twitterati rose to his defence online. Many suggested he sue the government, while others poked fun at the bizarre intervention by the telecom ministry. One person, Salil B, called it “a total black comedy”. Another person, Ranjit (@qtfan) called it “utterly disgraceful.” 

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