The recent US visit of Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has opened the door for digital colonialism in India and the media hyped it as “Digital India”.
Who will rule India’s digital market?
Needless to say, the big US giants, Facebook, Google and Microsoft.
Google will provide free Wi-Fi in 500 railway stations.
Facebook promoted its uncredited Internet.org model through which poor will benefit and will become rich (eventually). It also proposes for e-governance through Facebook. (Means the whole data about Indian governance and its people will be hosted in its server and will be accessible by the US and Facebook resulting to slavery)
Microsoft will connect villages.
Well to summarise, the prime agenda of the US IT giants is to capture India’s digital market.
How many Indian Internet service providers exist in Indian digital market?
There are a few Internet service providers in Indian market. BSNL, Hathway and Airtel are the major ones.
Now the questions is, are we, the Indians, really unsatisfied with their services?
How will digital India benefit our railway stations, poor and villagers?
Only a few of the Indian population, especially urban (say 40% of the total Indian population), have switched to Smartphones and use the Internet through it. They buy the Internet package from their service provider and utilise it as per individual need and use free Wi-Fi, wherever they get it such as in many restaurants, hotels or airport.
About Indian villagers, do you really think they can afford Smartphone or computer at home? 3000 farmer suicide cases has already been registered since 2013 in India. Are our villagers literate? They don’t even have the luxury of basic education which is our constitutional right.
In this scenario, do our villages really need free Internet or a better quality school and medical assistance? (Maybe Facebook has thought of e-School and e-Hospital for villagers).
Even if the Internet has to support any creative idea of villagers, where will the money for giving shape to an idea come from? If the solution is loan from a government bank, where is the guarantee that the idea will sell and the person will be able to spay the debt? This will lead to another suicide.
Other side of the Coin
Long time ago, the East Indian Company came to India to trade. The Indian nawabs and kings welcomed them in greed for more business. The East Indian Company lended money to the locals for their luxurious lifestyle and expenses who probably thought that they will not have to repay the loan as they have allowed the East Indian Company a free trade in India. However this was not true. Gradually, India was sold to the British who ruled for more than 100 years.
Now, in the 21st century, which is considered to be digital era, our Prime Minister Narendra Modi is gifting away our digital independence to US.
Also the fact (revealed from Snowden) that Facebook, Google and Microsoft along with telecom companies, have been an integral part of the National Security Agency (NSA) of US and the Five-Eyes Global Spy Network (US, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand). These US IT giants allows access to all of their data to these countries which means giving the access to our data to these US MNC’s is to give them our important economic resources and allow them to monitor our important decisions. (The NDA government also insisted on the compulsion of ADHAAR card which is linked to the bank account so that the banking of each individual can be monitored.)
Digital India will also lead to digital imperialism because Facebook wants poor to connect with Internet.org to become rich (How will it eliminate poverty and hunger from India is debatable.).This means, the Facebook will decide which websites poor ill access in India.
Digital India Post-mortem
India has already spent more than Rs. 70,000 crore on National Optical Fibre Network for developing an Internet backbone in the country. BSNL has a major contribution in this network. Moreover, Indian railways has already built Rail-Tel, a fibre optic network for Wi-Fi installations in railway stations that Google proposes to use.
Thus we can see that our Indian companies has already laid the digital foundation and the US MNC’s has to only add icing on the cake. This means, Indian government has invested and will invest in the Internet infrastructure in India and Facebook, Microsoft and Google will earn profit by accessing our confidential data and selling them in the name of “Free Service”.
- On one side, our Prime Minister Narendra Modi is insisting on “Make in India” and on the other side, he is selling India to the US.
- Are we ready to be a digital slave or indirect slave of US in the 21st century?
Source credit to a write up in the People’s Democracy” newspaper by Prabir Purkayasta and image from indianexpress.