Wednesday September 19, 2018

The Birth of a Nation, an Untold True Story of 1831 Uprising of a Slave Community

The Birth of a Nation, about 1831 uprising of a slave community in the American south, is a fiery account of a rebellion against injustice and oppression

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A still from the movie The Birth of a Nation, VOA
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October 11, 2016: The Birth of a Nation, about the 1831 uprising of a slave community in the American south, is a fiery account of a rebellion against injustice and oppression. Based on a true story, the film offers an unflinching look at the brutal event. First-time filmmaker Nate Parker reclaims the film title “The Birth of a Nation,” from D.W. Griffith’s 1915 pro Ku Klux Klan interpretation of the Civil War. Parker presents the story of Nat Turner, a slave preacher, who decided to right the wrongs against his people by taking up arms.

Unlike most films about slavery, which have focused on the perseverance and sacrifice of slaves in the American South during the antebellum era, The Birth of a Nation talks of rebellion and revenge.

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The film follows Nat Turner’s journey to radicalization and rebellion. A studious boy, Nat was likely taught to read by his white masters, and became a recognized preacher in the slave community. His ability to soothe and console the enslaved hearts of his brethern was exploited by slaveowners, who saw the word of the Bible as a way to teach slaves passivity and obedience to the white master.

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But during his preaching tours, Turner saw so much abuse against the slaves, he could no longer turn the other cheek. The more pain he witnessed, the more his sermons became combative, defiant, and aggressive. He was punished severely. His wife raped. But Turner did not submit.

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Parker says he got invested in the story not only as a filmmaker and an actor, but also as an activist. “Understanding the importance of Nat Turner and projecting the story in a way that is positive and honest has been on my soul since the moment I said I need to make this film,” he says.

The film is powerful in its cinematography, its attempts at historic accuracy, and its compelling story of systemic prejudice and abuse.

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Unfortunately, the movie, which had an early Oscar buzz, may be doomed to obscurity because of resurfacing allegations that Parker raped a young woman during his college years. Although he was acquitted in court in 2001, the news is threatening to overshadow his work. Time will tell if The Birth of a Nation will survive its controversial creator, as well as its controversial message that for the oppressed, sometimes the way to redemption is by the sword. (VOA)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google's new tool can help you make our planet healthy. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?