We struggled so hard to sought our freedom from the British. Then why are we so eager to give it up? If in 1947, the British had said that for one whole year they would give one measly bag of rice every month, to people who could not afford it, then would we give up our freedom struggles and let them rule us for another decade?

If not then why are we willing to do this in the name of a restricted internet? Would we allow foreign countries to make our laws and establish monopolies here if they did some charity work? Then why allow foreign corporations to do the same?

If we want free internet for all then why not ask our government for this? Establish organisations that can do his without encroaching on our freedom. This has been done before. Why trust a business to make choices for our good? Especially since this business does not have a trustworthy track record. See this article for ideas for a free internet that still preserve its openess and fairness, as well as bait and switch policies used by makers of free basics in the past.

Remember how the British supported some princely states and pitted them against others and practised divide and conquer. Well free basics will do the same. It will support some businesses to create monopolies under the control of Facebook, in the same way that the greedy Maharajas under the control of the British  squashed resistance from their own countrymen. Why are we so eager to do this to our selves again? Have we learned nothing from history?

Are cheap trinkets really worth our freedom in the long run?

The amount of money they have spent on advertising and shaming us could surely have been used to make the entire internet free for limited amount of data say 300 Mb a month to plenty of people for a few months

I know Facebook has a lot of money. I can tell by the number of TV ads and ads on bus stops they are running about their venture. They call us elitists and shame us for hating poor people simply because we value our freedom. The amount of money they have spent on advertising and shaming us could surely have been used to make the entire internet free for limited amount of data say 300 Mb a month to plenty of people for a few months. Surely Facebook and it’s partners could afford that if charity and the benefit of the Indian people was their true intention.

Besides, how can we trust the future of a resource as important as the internet, to hypocrites who fight for #NetNeutrality in the USA, but don’t think India deserves it. I ask once again, Facebook, what have we Indians ever done to you to deserve such treatment? You try to enslave us and then call us names when we try to protect our freedom. Our country has already suffered in the hands of many looters. I hope we succeed in keeping it from being looted again.

Please sign this petition to #SaveTheInternet in India. Every vote counts. Many people have voted in favour of Facebook without knowing what they were voting for simply because Facebook sent out a message making them out to be monsters if they did not. Some have been misrepresented by Facebook as supporters of free basics even though they are opposed to it. Yes Facebook has dealt a very low blow and is not shy to use emotional blackmail, misleading messages, lying, cheating and any other underhanded technique that occurs to them.

PS: This will also be the end of blogging and internet start-ups as we know it. The network effect makes a big difference to the success of start-ups and bloggers. If it were not for a free and fair internet Facebook would not have existed. The internet is the greatest hope for bloggers, start-ups and small business owners. It is a great resource for consumers since we can do price checks on commodities and services across stores and brands and get the most optimal solutions. All these advantages the internet brings us will be destroyed by the mere existence of free basics. If a limited internet with only those sites approved by Facebook is made available to a large number of people, competing businesses will shrivel under anonymity due to the sheer momentum of the network effect. So Facebook will then be creating monopolies under their own control. Is this something we really want?

Monopolies are not good for anyone, especially not the poor. So free basics in the long-term is detrimental to poor people most of all.

Here are some more links on the subject:

What you need to know about free basics

http://indianexpress.com/article/blogs/change-your-facebook-profile-picture-to-get-colonised/#sthash.ZES2wqrm.dpuf

http://www.thehindu.com/business/opposition-against-internetorg-growing/article7224500.ece

http://www.scoopwhoop.com/news/facebook-wants-you-to-sign-their-petition-to-save-free-basics-heres-why-you-shouldnt/

Image Credit: https://flic.kr/p/75rLY

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