The eruption of large scale violence and aftermath of events!
Isn’t it time to call off the controversial legislations?

The violence in UP, the country’s largest State and the hub of the 200 million strong Muslim citizens must be sending all the signals for retreating on the path of the same policies?

By any reckoning democratic politics calls for consultations and building consensus and reconciliation. In the current situation it is the paramount duty of the incumbent government to reach out to the Opposition parties and get a dialogue going on to reach out an end to the arson and further confrontations. It is very unfortunate that no wise counsel is forthcoming from the larger public space still filled with many of the powerful sections .We expect men and leaders and wisemen like all the industry leader, like Rahul Bajaj, why even other, friends of the Prime Minister, like the ones, Mukesh Ambani, Adani, Mahindra Chairman, Anand Mahindra, even Ratan Tata, Kumaramangalam Birla must come out and appeal to the establishment for new initiatives as the great many lesser sections of entrepreneurs are suffering from the large scale shut down of Internet, now the critical instrument to help maintain the industry and enterprises.

What the people of Assam and North East have been experienced from the illegal or otherwise, the migrant populations have been moving out and thus getting the local populations suffer is known to all people in the rest of the country.

But what no one expected is the way the NRC and CAA have brought about, a shock and pain that these two major legislations implementations have caused. The widespread feeling that these two legislations have been aimed at discriminating the brother Muslim people is not yet disproved by the further action on the part of the government.

Let the government speak out, let the TV channels and other media outlets go out and education the public opinion. Instead the Prime Minister and the Home Minister are not forthcoming and explain before the public how they decide to bring the situation under control.

The deaths in UP and Mangaluru, the violence and the imposition of Sec.144, even in cities like Bangalore and also the disconnect caused by the Internet shut down further angered the people. This time in Jammu and Kashmir too the Internet block upset the people there. Jammu and Kashmir is now acknowledged globally as a dark spot on the Internet. Do we continue this tag on a state already on the boil?

Since August 4, after the protests against the CAA began, other States also experiencing shutdown, and the fate of connectivity is being decided by officers empowered by the Temporary suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency and public Safety Rules, 2017 under the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, or Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, surely a sign of our outdated laws and legal fictions. This is surely a disruption of an extreme measure.

A case in point is the spread of rumours. This is wrong and the information vacuum had had to be avoided. The social media is active at such situations and the officials must have avoided such things. The Prime Minister, writes an editorial in The Hindu who has fashioned himself as a digital first leader, issued a twitter appeal, issued a twitter appeal to people in Assam on the CAA, but they did not get it as they had no net. The NDA government should also be aware that the connectivity chokehold applied on J&K is proving lethal to entrepreneurship, crippling a new generation running startups and promoting women’s entrepreneurship.

A disrupted Internet is dealing a blow to digital financial transactions across several States, to e-governance initiatives, and economic productivity. It affects education and skill-building, as the Kerala High Court affirmed in an order holding access to the net a fundamental right that could not be denied arbitrarily. The court pointed out that the apprehension of a gadget being misused is not a legitimate ground for denial of
service.

The government should action specific complaints. Yet, since 2015 shut downs of Internet has been rising-134 in 2018 alone! The NDW seems unwilling to change course. In fact from statistics available so far, India has the dubious distinction of becoming the first country to shut down Internet connections!

These are some of the more disturbing trends in a country proclaiming to aim for a 5 trillion dollar economy. More than any other country, India is losing face, notes the editorial as a democracy abroad. The US Senate and other panel have wronged India on its human rights claims. That is wrong, reform and progress vitally need the net in this age of wide awakening all over the world.

Internet penetration is proving a new tool of progress even in the rural areas and the Internet use is spreading among the farmers and rural youth in a big way. Short term issues should not cloud our long-term goals and vision.

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