Government and Politics: Interference and Opportunity
2011 will be remembered as the year that the government started cracking down and limiting the freedom of speech on the Internet. Perhaps shaken by the success of the India Against Corruption mobilisation via mobile and social media, the government fought back by cracking down on social media, TV channels and SMS. 2012 will see various court battles to determine whether India sees censorship in the China model, as one of the judged hinted.
India’s mobilisation and politics can also be changed via the coming rise in digital users. IAC was a good showcase of what can be possible. Given the large base of urban Middle India and the tools that they have to now organise, there is no reason for this segment to continue to stay apathetic to social and civic issues relevant to the future of the country.
So, even as India’s Internet comes of age finally, our government, digital infrastructure and regulation hold our usage back. I hope that 2012 sees these obstacles go. But given past experience, I am not optimistic. And yet, we as consumers will find our own paths to make the digital world an even greater part of our life.