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India's academic, online freedoms under fire as government cracks down

Cornell University
10-Feb-2021 5:05 PM EST, by Cornell University

After initially resisting demands to remove users criticizing the Indian government from its platform, Twitter blocked hundreds of accounts this week as the Narendra Modi’s government threatened action against Twitter employees. 

Sital Kalantry, professor of law at Cornell University, is an expert in international human rights and comparative law focusing on the study of Indian law. She says that censoring social media is just one of several troubling developments related to the Indian government’s crackdown on free speech. 

Kalantry says:

“The Biden administration should be concerned about the increasing crackdown on freedom of speech by the Indian government because of which journalists, human rights advocates and students have been jailed for expressing their views. 

“The Indian government shut down access to the internet all together when it removed the state of Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status in 2019 and now it is trying to shut down farmers voices by censoring social media. Most troubling are its new rules restricting academic freedom by requiring Indian institutions to get permission to host virtual conferences that involve supposedly ‘internal matters.’ In a global world, there are no such thing as internal matters anymore.”

 

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