India has crossed 100 Internet Shutdowns in 2018, but very little is discussed about how they affect daily lives. MediaNama is publishing a series on the impact that Internet Shutdowns have on people’s lives. These were originally published by the Centre for Internet & Society, and written by reporters working with 101Reporters.com, in a report which was released on May 17th 2018.
By Sarah Konyak & Ganesh Prassad
At the beginning of last year, internet services in the entire state of Nagaland were suspended for 20 days to curb the violent reaction to the state government’s decision to apply reservation in civic body elections. The internet had been shut down on January 30 but the violence continued in the state capital till February 2 between the police and the rampaging mobs. Picture Courtesy: Sarah Konyak
Over a thousand tribesmen armed with spears and machetes took to the streets and set afire the old secretariat building which housed the offices of Kohima Municipal Council, Regional Transport Office and Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority, and also damaged several government vehicles. Picture Courtesy: Sarah Konyak
24-year- old Khriesavizo Metha and Bendangnungsang Longkumer died in a police firing in the commercial city of Dimapur on January 31. Picture Courtesy: Sarah Konyak
Coming at a time when the annual exams were around the corner, the internet shutdown probably had the most severe effect on students who largely depend on cellular data networks and SMSes for their revisions. Picture Courtesy: Sarah Konyak
More than a year later and several thousand miles away, students in a small town in Bihar find themselves in similar circumstances. Picture Courtesy: Ganesh Prassad
After communal clashes in Aurangabad district, the government shutdown internet multiple times in March, often for more than 24 hours at a time. Picture Courtesy: Ganesh Prassad
Manisha and Nidhi, twin sisters appearing for their CBSE class X examination were one of the thousands of students were badly affected due to an internet shutdown a day before their Maths exam. Picture Courtesy: Ganesh Prassad
The abrupt shutdowns impacted the last-minute exam preparation of many students who found themselves unable to revise their syllabi. Picture Courtesy: Ganesh Prassad
In many under-developed districts like these where public education is found wanting, students across schools and colleges rely on the internet to supplement classroom learning. Picture Courtesy: Ganesh Prassad
Sarah Konyak is based out of Kohima and is currently working with Northeast Live News Channel.
Ganesh is a Aurangabad based reporter who has been in the business for more than 15 years. He is a member of 101Reporters, a pan-India network of grassroots reporters.
Cross-posted here with permission under the CC BY-ND 4.0 license.