Blurb: Rahul Gandhi raises Adjournment Motion in Lok Sabha, blames NDA govt of siding with the corporates

news Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - 05:30
After his stellar speech on agriculture, Rahul Gandhi sought time today on the floor of the Lok Sabha to speak on Net Neutrality. Having received all round praise for his earlier speech, the stage was set for the Prince to storm in with an intervention and save the day for the Congress party. But his call the scrap the TRAI process is being criticised.   Hinting that Modi could be playing into the hands of Americans, Rahul Gandhi said, “Net neutrality means, the right to have net. Every youth should have the right to net, the right to internet.” He added, “The government wants to distribute the internet to the big companies.” Further mentioning that ‘youth’ have petitioned on Twitter and Facebook for net neutrality, he asked the government to change or write a new law for Net Neutrality.   The Gandhi scion also said he wants the government to “scrap the TRAI consultation”.  His argument, as he told reporters later, was that if the government wanted net neutrality, why have it in the first place.   The TRAI consultation process has been the platform on which more than a million people have participated in an important public debate. What happened in the past few weeks, thanks to the consultation process, is the representation of a vibrant participatory democracy. The Indian Net Neutrality campaign has been able to gain momentum and apply pressure on the government, and Big Telecom having rallied around the TRAI consultation process. Nikhil Pahwa of MediaNama, a pro-Net Neutrality activist says, “It is unfair to ask for the TRAI process to be scrapped. This was the largest such process in the history of our country. And it is the due process, it must happen. It will greatly harm the legislative process if the TRAI consultation is scrapped.”   Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Ravi Shankar Prasad responded to Rahul immediately, saying that PM Modi has directed that universal, non-discriminatory access to Internet be achieved in India. In essence, he did endorse Net Neutrality. But he also offered lessons to Gandhi. “When we have to formulate a law, then the TRAI will give us its recommendations, the telecom commission will deliberate over it, I will take a decision and Union Cabinet will decide. We will follow the due process.”

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