Internet banned in India - ''Digital India is on the verge of offline''

Internet ban in India - "Digital India is in offline mode"

(Map representing number of shutdowns )

As of now, India has seen the internet banned in different state's reasons are there though for these steps but directly or indirectly they are affecting the central govt. dream of making India digital.
Residing in the state of Assam I was fortunately unfortunate to experience the offline mode for nearly 10 days. In Assam where the internet was banned due to suspicion of protest for Anti CA(A) will be violent preventive measures were taken. Section 144 was imposed throughout the various district of Assam. 

Before Assam, there are multiple states that went offline that too for a longer period of time (>100days). Here are some of the fascinating snippets of them. 

  • A total of around 373 times internet was banned from the year 2012-2019. These banned happened in different states of India.


  • 139 Days and Counting (4 august 2019 - Present) : An internet shutdown was imposed on 4th August 2019, when Article 370 of the Constitution was abrogated by the Parliament of India. There was a Presidential order 272 dated 5th August 2019 implying the same. The State of Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. There was a preventive shutdown imposed in the state which is yet to be lifted, the beginning of the communication blockade saw landlines as well as Mobile services restricted, the ban on landlines was lifted but the suspension of mobile internet continues in the valley.

  • 133 Days (8th July 2016 - 19th November 2016) : Longest Internet Shutdown was observed in Kashmir located in state of Jammu and Kashmir in 2016 due to the agitation caused by the killing of Burhan Wani on 8th July 2016. Mobile Internet Services were suspended for 133 days. While mobile Internet services on postpaid numbers was restored on November 19, 2016. Mobile Internet services for prepaid users were resumed in January 2017, this implies they faced almost a six month Internet shutdown.

  • 100 Days (18th June 2017 - 25th September 2017) : Third longest Internet services suspension was observed in Darjeeling. The order suspending the Internet services was promulgated on 18th June 2017 due to the ongoing agitation for a separate Gorkhaland. Two days later, on 20thJune, the order was extended to the broadband services as well, effectively shutting down the entire Internet, with several such extension orders Internet services were suspended in Darjeeling for 100 days.

TYPES OF SHUTDOWNS : (Till - august 2019)

Of the 278 Internet shutdowns recorded between January 2012 and January 2019, 160 were observed to be preventive measures i.e. restrictions imposed in anticipation of law and order breakdowns, whereas 118 shutdowns were reactive in nature i.e. imposed in order to contain on-going law and order breakdowns.

DURATION OF SHUTDOWNS: (Till - august 2019)

60 of the 278 Internet shutdowns between January 2012-2019 lasted less than 24 hours, 55 lasted between 24 and 72 hours, 39 lasted for over 72 hours, while no information was available on the respective durations of 113 Internet shutdowns. The non-availability of information is attributable chiefly to the fact that no public notifications are issued by the Government or Internet Service Providers before, during, or after shutdowns, leaving stakeholders outside affected areas to source this information from available news reports, which do not consistently mention the durations for which Internet access was blocked.


Of the 278 reported incidents, 224 were targeted at mobile Internet services alone (3 in 2012, 5 shutdowns each in 2013 & 2014, 8 in 2015 and 20 in 2016, 51 in 2017, 126 in 2018 and 6 till January 2019), 19 targeted both mobile and fixed-line Internet services (4 each in 2015 and 2016, 9 in 2017, and 4 in 2018), while only 2 shutdowns targeting fixed-line services alone were recorded during the period of study.

**NOTE - All the data were collected by SFLC.in

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