Reliance Freebies – Creating Digital Capital and Controlling Digital Nation


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Reliance Jio is perhaps the biggest “disruption” in the contemporary India which is seeing a series of “disruptions” in the governmental policies. If we rank the number of words according to their frequency of their use by the government, the word “disruption” will perhaps rank higher.

In a shorter time, Reliance Jio captured 10 percent of the cell phone users in India and with its free “handset” policy, it is going to see the dramatic shift in the people’s choice. They will opt for Reliance Jio, increasingly.

Reliance is distributing the Jio SIM card plus free data and it brought the prices down to the lowest and the amount of data downloaded by Indians is 150 crores GB every month. Perhaps, the highest in the world. What is the rationale behind giving people free SIM and free data? Reliance will not do that without having a firm business thinking behind it.

The idea is simple. The Reliance is moving in tandem with the RSS/BJP Government policy of digital India and more and more governance through its flagship scheme: Jan Dhan (Banking), Aadhaar (UID), and Mobile telephone. The Government is already having so much data and at least a dozen of data bank available with the several government bodies.

Reliance Jio is an attempt to synchronize its business with the business of Government. There is no sector that yields more than working with the Government and therefore Reliance would be moving towards its new oil “data”.

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It is dangerous as it is warned by the people involved in the making of Aadhaar that if one private party controls the digital India, then, it will sabotage the nation and we can begin to see the flashes of that with the coming of Reliance Data Centre starting from the Panchayat level to the highest level of Parliament and getting an access to this huge data to merge the Government services with the private player (read Reliance).

With 10 percent Indians already pocketed by Reliance, it is already moving towards its goal. Reliance is falling short of its goal of roping in as many millions as possible and its target is perhaps to freely distribute its SIMs to all the Indians.

In the future, it might just make it compulsory, perhaps loading your SIM with all the personal details and personal history which Reliance will already have access to.

Reliance with Government policy of JAM will jam our private lives and by way of that the nation’s life forever.

Author – Mangesh Dahiwale, Human Rights Activist

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