At a time when the country is in the grip of rapes and crime against women, with a number of such incidents reported from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan DGP has conveniently decided to blame it all on the internet. DGP Bhupendra Yadav reportedly told the media that "curiosity" and use of the internet was the reason why incidents of crime against women were increasing in India.
Incidentally, the thinking is not new. The internet has been blamed again and again in India for leading the men of the country astray, though curiously the same internet doesn't push women to commit crime.
So strong is this feeling of the internet as an evil in the Indian society that the central Indian government in the last few years has increasingly moved to ban porn websites in the country, similar to how nations like Saudi Arabia and China keep such sites away from their citizens in the name of culture.
Two years ago, BJP politician Nandkumar Singh Chauhan had blamed the internet for crimes. "Due to easy access to the Internet and smartphones, youngsters can see obscene content on phones. This results in a negative impact on innocent minds and leads to perversity," Chauhan had said.
Currently in India websites like Pornhub and Xvideos are banned at the network level and accessing these sites leads to a web browser showing users that "This site has been blocked as per the instructions of Competent Authority." Or in some cases, the domain servers that companies like Jio and Airtel use simply reset the connection and refuse to resolve the domain name or IP of the porn sites.
Interestingly, not just the porn sites but India has also banned sub reddits like /r/Indiansgonewild. This is something India has done by asking Reddit to block specific sub reddits on India-specific IPs.
However, despite all the bans, the internet continues to be a scapegoat for police officers like Rajasthan DGP and many politicians.