I wrote this on 26th December 2019, and on 10th January 2020, Honorable Supreme court of India has declared Internet as Fundamental right.
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It is year 2020 and India is going forward with Digital India, where most of the things are done digitally.
You can pay digitally, you can book a service digitally, you can carry your identity digitally etc etc. Now think of a situation when Internet is blocked, what will happen??
We all become stranded in nowhere, you cannot do anything suddenly if internet is blocked. If Govt is pushing for Digital India then they should also remember that Digital India cannot be successful if Internet is blocked.
We have freedom of Speech and in this Digital world, everyone now speaks on Internet, Freedom of speech directly means freedom of Internet.
I understand there are situations where Internet needs to be blocked for national interest but then what will common man do when everything goes digital, there has to be some alternate arrangements.
I can think of like allowing certain Internet services and block others which are not necessary. Blanket internet ban will definitely not help Digital India.
As per UNESCO report India witnessed highest number of Internet shutdowns in 2017-18,
There is an article in BBC which says Why India shuts down the internet more than any other democracy
Whenever internet shutdown happens, people get impacted,
Just as roads and highways are essential for running the economy, internet availability is also important, in view of the increased shift towards digital transactions. The cost of disruptions (due to internet shutdowns) is as high as the cost of shutting other forms of physical infrastructure such as roads and highways.