Facebook's "Free Basics" and colonialism: an argument in six devastating points

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Though India's independent telcoms regulator has banned services like Facebook's "Free Basics" -- which bribed phone companies to exempt Facebook's chosen services from the carriers' punishing data-caps -- the debate rages on, as Free Basics has taken hold through many poor countries around the world. Read the rest

Indian regulator stands up for net neutrality, bans Facebook's walled garden

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India's Internet activists have scored an epic victory in their battle against Facebook and its attempt to become gatekeeper to the Internet in India. Read the rest

Exuberant designer skins for the insides of Mumbai's taxis

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In Mumbai, cab drivers vie to make their vehicles stand out from their competitors', decorating them with exuberant expressions of the driver's personality. Read the rest

Delhi's "Sleep Mafia" control the nights of 100,000 homeless workers

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With an estimated 100,000 homeless people living on the streets of Delhi, and 18,000 shelter beds, the city's nighttime sidewalks are the only bed for tens of thousands of workers. Read the rest

India's Internet activists have a SOPA moment: no "poor Internet for poor people"

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My latest Guardian column, 'Poor internet for poor people': India's activists fight Facebook connection plan, tells the story of how India's amazing Internet activists have beaten back Facebook's bid to become gatekeeper to the Internet for the next billion users. Read the rest

Help fill the first free public library for India's Tibetan exile community with books

Photo: Mundgod Public Library project

Will you help us fill the Mundgod library with books?

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India's telcoms regulator says it will ignore Facebook's astroturf army

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Facebook's misleading, high budget astroturf campaign sent over 14 lakh (1.4m) comments to TRAI, the Indian telcoms regulator, almost none of which responded to the questions raised in the regulator's Net Neutrality consultation paper. Read the rest

Indian Net Neutrality vs Facebook's astroturf army

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When India's independent telcoms regulator opened up a consultation on whether to allow Facebook to continue bribing some ISPs to charge extra for access to URLs that Facebook hadn't approved, they were flooded with 5.5 million confused comments in support of the $300 billion US company. Read the rest

Facebook's FUDdy, full-page anti-Net-Neutrality Indian newspaper ads

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Facebook is desperate to ensure that the Internet never takes hold in developing nations -- they want a walled garden that they get to own and operate. Read the rest

India's deadly exam-rigging scandal: murder, corruption, suicide and scapegoats

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Since 2013, I've been reading in the Times of India's RSS feed about the Vyapam scandal that has shaken the state of Madhya Pradesh to the very highest levels, but I never understood exactly how insane and massive the scandal was until I read Aman Sethi's cogent, comprehensive A-to-Z in today's Guardian. Read the rest

Chakra the Invincible: a climate change comic for kids

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"Chakra the Invincible" is the third installment in a series from the UNICEF-backed Comics Uniting Nations. It's aimed at kids and young people, and presents a diverse global perspective on the causes and results of climate change. Read the rest

Cultural appropriation? Hindu nationalists used yoga as an anti-colonialist export

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A kerfuffle about a Canadian university where yoga classes were cancelled after concerns about cultural appropriation were raised by the Centre for Students with Disabilities sparked Michelle Goldberg, author of a biography of yoga pioneer Indra Devi to discuss the complicated issue of cultural exports, cultural appropriation, and the history of yoga. Read the rest

Watch this Indian street vendor slice vegetables like a damn boss

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I could literally watch this all day.

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Creep Qawwali: Hilarious musical video about sleazy dudes on Facebook

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I love Qawwali music, and I am really loving this cute viral Qawwali-themed ad for India dating service TrulyMadly.

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Court tells millionaire yoga troll Bikram Choudhury that poses can't be copyrighted

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Bikram Choudhury, the millionaire accused serial rapist who popularized hot yoga in America, sued other hot yoga studios in 2003, including "open source yoga" practicioners, asserting that he held a copyright over the sequence of poses conducted in his class. Read the rest

Male council in India orders sisters to be raped because their brother eloped with a married woman

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An all-male council in India has ordered that two sisters, ages 15 and 23, be raped and paraded in public with blackened faces because their brother eloped with a married woman.

Amnesty International has launched a petition but they've been told that the "decision is final."

“Nothing could justify this abhorrent punishment,” the Amnesty petition reads. “It’s not fair. It’s not right. And it’s against the law. Demand that the local authorities intervene immediately.”

Village councils in northern India, known as khap panchayats, are generally comprised of senior male members of the community’s high castes. Although the councils have been declared illegal by the courts, their edicts are still observed in many parts of rural India.

Image: Wikimedia Read the rest

Google covertly lobbied against net neutrality in India

The company emailed members of the Government Relations committee of the Indian ISP association, asking them to support Facebook's Internet.org program, which delivers "a poor Internet for poor people." Read the rest

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