Over 400 Internet Lockdowns In Last 4 Years In India

Internet Shutdown In india
Internet Shutdown In india

The country has witnessed more than 400 internet shutdowns in the last four years. In fact, the world’s longest internet shutdown was also reported in India. The internet was shut down in Jammu and Kashmir after Article 370 was abrogated in the parliament between August 4, 2019, and March 4, 2020, – for 223 days.

India shuts its internet down more frequently than any other democracy in the world, said a report by Forbes. Within India, Jammu and Kashmir faced the maximum internet outage. Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Haryana, and Maharashtra follows Jammu and Kashmir. The shutdown lasts for days in many cases. 21 shutdowns in 2017, five in 2018, and six shutdowns in 2019 lasted for more than three days.

Countries, such as India, which have laws that facilitate and legalise shutdowns tend to order more shutdowns, said a report by AccessNow. The internet shutdowns in India have not only been imposed due to undesirable events. Out of the 79 shutdowns in 2017, 61 were preventive while only 18 were reactive, according to internetshutdowns.in. Further in 2018, 67 incidents of internet shutdowns were preventive while the same number of shutdowns were reactive.

Internet shutdown also hurts the economy. A report by top10vpn revealed that the cost of the internet shutdown in India was $2.7 billion in 2020 as it continued for 8,927 hours. Considering the per dollar rate of Rs 73.3, it means that the cost of internet lockdown in India is more than Rs 2 crore every hour.

Meanwhile, the Haryana government on Thursday extended the internet shutdown in Jhajjar and Sonipat districts by 24 hours due to the ongoing farmers’ protest. All internet, SMS and dongle services will remain suspended in these two districts until 5 pm of February 5, the government informed, as reported by news agency ANI.

India’s longest Internet shutdowns:

  • 136 days and counting: Internet services were suspended on 4 August in Jammu and Kashmir 2019
  • 133 days: An internet shutdown in Indian-administered Kashmir which lasted from 8 July to 19 November in 2016
  • 99 days: Authorities shut off the internet in India’s West Bengal state from 18 June to 25 September in 2017