You Won’t Believe How Much Money India Lost Due To Internet Shutdowns In 2019!

The Digital India campaign has given its New Year gift – INTERNET SHUTDOWN.

In 2019, over 4,000 hours of internet shutdowns happened in India, which cost India more than $1.3 billion. At present, India’s economy is suffering from some major economic black holes and the internet shutdowns are more than a nuisance.

In today’s India, the newest and the most popular means of authoritarianism are internet shutdowns. For more than four months in 2019, people in India’s Jammu and Kashmir region were devoid of internet access when Article 370, which granted the state special status was invalidated.

The Citizenship Amendment Act also resulted in some major shutdowns, which happened in different regions like Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Tripura, some regions of West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. Unfortunately, the loss was the third-highest, amongst the 21 countries, including Venezuela, Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Kazakhstan, and Indonesia; where most important internet shutdowns happened in the last year.

Anti-CAA protest
The Citizenship Amendment Act also resulted in some of the major internet shutdowns, which happened in different regions.

Simon Migliano, the head of research at Top10VPN stated, ‘India imposes internet restrictions more often than any other country, with over 100 shutdowns documented in 2019. As they tend to be highly-targeted, even down to the level of blacking out individual city districts for a few hours while security forces try to restore order, many of these incidents have not been included in this report, which instead focused on larger region-wide shutdowns,” Migliano said. “The full economic impact is, therefore, likely to be higher even than our $1.3 billion figure.

The sad fact is that internet shutdowns don’t simply hold back information, they also repress the economy. In total, India had witnessed 106 internet shutdowns in 2019. It is quite paradoxical that the world’s biggest democracy, has recently developed a tool, to control its own citizens, practising democratic supremacy. These shutdowns represent a threatening and fascist style of governing.

The largest democracy is not just about the power to elect your favoured government, but more importantly, the power and authority to hold the elected government answerable.

Similar Posts

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below