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India is on Top of the World with 'Kaafi Real' Digital Blackouts

India is leading with highest internet shutdowns globally and this is a 'Kaafi Real' problem for our democracy.

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For sixth year in a row, India leads in global internet shutdowns with 116 internet shutdowns in 2023. 

In 2023, India imposed an internet blackout lasting more than 5,000 hours in Manipur. Across the country, the total duration of internet disruption amounted to 7,956 hours. Among these, 7,812 hours constituted a complete blackout of internet services, with social media platforms being inaccessible for 144 hours.

According to a report by Access Now and the #KeepItOn.

India is leading with highest internet shutdowns globally and this is a 'Kaafi Real' problem for our democracy.

Access Now and the #KeepIton coalations's new report, Shrinking democracy, growing violene: Internet shutdowns in 2023, exposes the unparalleled impact and destruction of these brutal attacks on human rights throughout a dangerous year of extremes.

(Photo: The Quint/Aroop Mishra)

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The report highlighted a trend where an increasing number of shutdown orders are being implemented on a regional rather than local level. Specifically, it mentioned that there were 64 shutdown orders affecting more than one district within the same state, province, or region. This trend was driven by 47 shutdowns in Manipur and also included a statewide shutdown in Punjab in March.

In Punjab, the internet was shut down statewide during the search for Amritpal Singh, a pro-Khalistani preacher. Similarly, in Manipur, internet shutdowns occurred multiple times amid ongoing ethnic violence in the state.

The report emphasized the severe impacts of the internet shutdowns in Manipur, particularly for women. It stated that these shutdowns made it harder to document widespread atrocities, such as murder, rape, arson, and other forms of gender-based violence, thereby hindering efforts to hold perpetrators accountable.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Kaafi Real   internet shutdowns 

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