The world is talking about it. Different parts of the world have already taken to their staunch dislike and disapproval about a reality that does pose a lot many questions about the democratic set-up currently prevailing in India. The country is bleeding with the issue. And truth be told, it’s not even a rare new development; for the malaise persisting in this trouble has long been a part of our world, a country that prides itself in being the world’s largest democracy. The problem concerned with the internet shutdowns in India urgently demands the key decision-makers of the country put their hands out and end the misery of the people.
Yet, most would contend with the fact that nothing concrete or fruitful may soon be achieved!
For a country that has no less than around 627 million internet (according to the Economic Times) users, the fact that 2019 yet again gave rise to a problem that has been a familiar feature in the country in its post-2014 period; the problem internet shutdown in India- tells us of a telling albeit conflicting reality.
It underlines the fact that simply having an internet connection and by and large, a youth-dominated population, aren’t indicators of a glowing picture.
The learned who cannot keep a shut-eye at the turn of every worrisome situation that angers the country or enforces upon the innocent, a forced rule of the law may perhaps point to a concerning development; is there a hint of autocracy in India’s democracy?
Are we being fast-paced in bringing enforcement of actions such as the internet shutdown in India each time the government finds opposition in response to a decision via protesting voices?
If in case you are wondering about there being any truth to the matter, then perhaps it is about time you paid a much-needed stat a visit.
But, up first a question. Have you thought about the number of times that there has been internet shutdown in India in the post-2014 period? While it may surprise a lot many, the fact is that there have been more than some 350 episodes of internet shutdown in India in the past half a decade.
You can perhaps choose to disagree and could even call this a misleading statement of fact but this is a piece of news that has got everyone talking.
India Today, in its assessment of a situation that imposes the gravity of suffering of the people of Kashmir, where for a period of over 100 days now, there has been no internet whatsoever, brought forth some telling facts to the front.
India Today Data Intelligence Unit (DIU) analysed Internet shutdowns in the country and found that terror activities and communal tensions have been the biggest contributors to suspension of services.
If not for anything, just give a read of the timeline of the events that have surfaced in the recent past:
India witnessed six Internet shutdowns in 2014 which rose to 14 in 2015. In 2016, it more than doubled to 31, and in 2017, it reached 79. The number peaked in 2018 to 134, and by December 15, 2019, there have been 93 Internet shutdowns.
According to Shutdown Tracker Optimization Project data by accessnow.com, a website based on Internet activism, 67 per cent of the world’s Internet shutdowns in 2018 were in India.
The data collected by the same organisation from January to July 2019 showed that India continues to be the Internet shutdown capital of the world. By the end of July 2019, there were 80 Internet shutdowns in India, which again forms 67 per cent of the world’s total Internet shutdowns (120).