Nearly after a week of putting 33 mobile applications under the radar, China is yet again all set to tighten the regulations for other applications as well. These applications, mostly related to the media were said to be interfering with the daily lives of the Chinese people. In what is said to be a ‘people’s war’, the Cyberspace Administration of China would ban these media applications from sending notifications via independent social media platforms to the citizens. It asked them to either introspect and rectify or face ban.
Since 1952, when the Communist Party of China took to power, such clampdowns have been a part and parcel of Chinese citizenship. Not only the country tends to regulate the lives of its people, exercising absolute power, they also filter out any agent within and without its territorial boundary that could lead to the realization of what true freedom means by the masses. The country labelled as the ‘People’s Republic of China’ for decades now has been unaware of what a ‘Republic’ is. More perplexing is the fact that the flag-bearers of Communism around the world and also in India don’t find this state of their “ideal nation’’ worth any headlines.
Seeing the situation from the perspective of an Indian, one might wonder why the internet clampdown in Kashmir meant for the safety of the natives from separatist powers invites fury around the world that tip-toes when it comes to the ‘Right to Information for the Chinese population’? Will agencies like Amnesty International speak up against this gross violation of human rights? Will any photographer even survive to receive the Pulitzer award for capturing how the Chinese citizens are being dangerously isolated from the rights like ‘free access to the internet’? Above all, irony laughs when even after this being a norm in China, some Indian media houses choose to frame news siting the Chinese government mouthpiece ‘The Global Times’ as an authentic source. More unfortunate is when in the incidences like the ‘Galwan face-off, 2020’ these houses disregard the official statement of the Indian authorities including the Army because the CPC mouthpiece presented other manipulated facts.
In this internet world, accompanied by free markets, it is obvious that there also exist many threats to the sovereignty and unity of a nation. India itself has been a victim of this and is still fighting. Therefore, the ‘Right to the Internet’ can’t be absolute. Rationality would always make one choose the ‘Right to Life’ of an individual and ‘Unity of the Nation’ above it. Thus, true democracies including India establish a mid-path via laws and regulations that would restrict the internet if there lurks the threat of disturbance, riot, etc. in any area.
However, choosing to filter out the information that enlightens the people against the wrong decisions taken in the governance ultimately carves out a population deprived of critical thinking and the true essence of freedom.
The ideals of Communism talk about giving importance to that minority voice that goes unheard due to majoritarianism. Yet, the silence of the followers of this principle over the authoritarian approach of the Chinese state says a lot about the double standards dipped inconvenience Internet by the left-wing globally. China somehow, with its vast population and materialistic growth portrays the concept of ‘the might is right’ since no country or private body raises its voice against the regime. Thus, eyes are also on how the US reacts to this, especially after the Biden government has taken over. After all, a Communist government can’t push the largest population in the world into the darkness of ignorance and worse- submission.
DISCLAIMER: This article reflects author’s view point. Goa Chronicle may or may not subscribe to views of the author