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Big day for the citizens of India today

July 19, 2017 Leave a comment

Supreme courtof India the highest court of the country has tasked a nine judge bench to decide whether the fundamental right to privacy is guaranteed under the constitution of India.

This is a key case as the central government of India is forcing on its citizens a surveillance scheme known as Aadhaar under various dubious benefits by using the cloak of Aadhaar act, the constitutional validity of which is still debatable. Government has chosen to push Aadhaar full swing and had made it mandatory for various government schemes even as the supreme court had made clear that nobody can be denied benefits just because they do not have Aaadhar that is until the court decides one way or other. But in a blatant disregard for the supreme court’s earlier judgement govt choose to make it mandatory by using corporate media houses to push its agenda.

Earlier the Attorney general of India Mukhul Rohatgi representing centre in a related Aadhaar case has argued before the same court that no citizen has fundamental right to privacy. what is even more appalling is that no citizen has right to sue the govt for its miuse of Aadhaar and the country has no privacy and data security laws. The supreme court has finally decided to hear on the Aadhaar case after long delay of nearly 2 years when it gave it’s initial judgement. Today’s case will closely watched as the fundamental right to privacy of every citizen is at stake.

I sincerely hope this case gets the coverage it deserves as the country’s press and media has taken over by the people in power to brainwash the people by repeated push of its propaganda and using its various constitutional arms to silence any dissent. India has never seen such a totalitarian government since the constitution’s formation after its independence and the country’s people are kept divided using clever religious divide and rule politics and swaying the emotions of the young and vulnerable in its favour using its dedicated IT wing which cleverly plants fake news at the right time doing its damage before truth could surface.

People of India has to unite and reject any propaganda claims, think rationally, question everything, use common sense and not let emotion take over. As the world’s biggest democracy needs its people to be informed to have a functioning democracy where the fundamental right to privacy and security is a core value.

Another win for Internet, Net neutrality is upheld in the world’s biggest democracy – India

February 9, 2016 1 comment

After nearly a year-long consultation with the public and telecoms, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has finally announced their stand this evening barring content discrimination and differential pricing. This development has come after the direct effect netizens of India rallying up to protect the level playing field of Internet.¬† A major credit for this victory should go to the people behind savetheinternet.in who created awareness and helped people respond to TRAI on its consultation. This is not an ordinary victory for the people of this democracy as the telecom companies were fiercely lobbying against any net neutrality rules and huge corporates like google, who were found to be silently lobbying against net neutrality in India, and facebook’s own Internet.org which changed its name to free basics after criticisms pointing out they were neither charity nor the entire Internet. TRAI has asked reliance communications, the country’s only provider of facebook’s free basics to suspend providing free basics to users earlier this month. Facebook spend millions of amounts for advertising free basics with billboards everywhere, full-page advertisements in the newspapers and attractive television advertisements, it also made use of its user base unethically to lobby for it, a move which was later criticized by TRAI. Today TRAI has taken a stand officially to prohibit content discrimination and differential pricing,with the exception of emergency services. Full official report can be read¬† in TRAI’s official report here. The guidelines released are,

  • No service provider shall offer or charge discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content.
  • No service provider shall enter into any arrangement, agreement or contract, by whatever name called, with any person, natural or legal, that has the effect of discriminatory tariffs for data services being offered or charged to the consumer on the basis of content
  • A service provider may reduce tariff for accessing or providing emergency services, or at times of grave public emergency, provided it is reported to TRAI within seven days and the authority approves it.
  • TRAI may review these regulations after a two years or after a period TRAI may deem fit.
  • TRAI may also levy a penalty of 50,000 Rupees up to a maximum of 50 lakh Rupees if any service provider is found contravening these regulations.

Indeed a day to celebrate. Though the battle is won, the war is not won yet with major private corporations and governments wielding more and more control into the daily lives of the people, there must be a similar fight to liberate the people from the surveillance of the governments and from the clutches of these corporations. For only free thinking and informed citizens can uphold this democracy.