Dec 21, 2019

India shuts down internet as protests over citizenship bill continue

Photo: Biju Boro/AFP via Getty Images

The Indian government has blocked phone and mobile internet service in parts of the country where protests persist over the country's new citizenship law that excludes Muslims, AP reports.

The big picture: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose government suggests temporary blackouts help to maintain law and order, has suspended internet access more than 100 times so far this year, AP notes. The internet has been down in the city of Aligarh for six straight days as of Saturday, and the heavily student-run protests have turned violent as well.

  • "Critics have pointed to the rise of internet shutdowns in India as a mechanism of censorship and repression in response to growing opposition to the government," AP writes.

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Modi defends citizenship law that excludes Muslims while protests rage

Narendra Modi at a rally in New Delhi, Dec. 22. Photo: Prakash Singh/AFP via Getty Images

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi defended the country's new citizenship law that excludes Muslims at a rally for his Hindu nationalist party on Sunday, accusing opponents of the bill of pushing India into a “fear psychosis," AP reports.

Why it matters: The law passed by Parliament earlier this month allows religious minorities from neighboring countries to become citizens if they can show they were persecuted because of their religion, but it does not apply to Muslims. The move has set off nationwide protests and international outcry, with 23 people killed since the demonstrations began.

Go deeperArrowDec 22, 2019

Amazon's $1 billion bet on Indian e-commerce

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With a new $1 billion investment, Amazon is doubling down on its India bet.

The big picture: India has the world's fastest growing e-commerce market, and retail giants from America and China are battling each other as well as homegrown Indian rivals to dominate it.

Go deeperArrowJan 15, 2020

The world's Muslims are facing unprecedented repression

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Muslim minorities from China to India and beyond are facing discrimination, mass internment, and even extermination at the hands of their own governments.

Why it matters: The global trend is rooted in the U.S. war on terror, inflated fears of Islamic terrorism, and the rise of authoritarian populism around the world.

Go deeperArrowDec 27, 2019