In a press release issued on 5 January 2022, All India Democratic youth organization (AIDYO) announced that it had started conducting a protest movement against the steep hike in the tariffs of net pack and mobile recharge by private telecommunication companies. It also observed a ‘‘Nationwide Protest Week’’ from 30 December 2021 to 4 January 2022.
AIDYO appealed to the citizens of the country particularly the youth to protest strongly against this increase by private telecommunication companies. Mobile phone today has become an indispensable means to conduct a multifarious transactions besides communication. Of late, in pandemic period, it has become an essential requirement for the online education of children. Almost entire population is roped into the mobile network in the name of ‘Digital India’. After the BJP-led central government has given a free hand to private telecom monopolies to raise tariff as per their wishes, there has been a steady rise in the mobile phone tariff tariffs. Now, the astronomical hike in post-paid connection tariff is indeed unbearable for common cellphone users. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) created by the Government of India to protect the interests of the consumers is found to remain as a mute spectator.
Responding to the appeal of AIDYO, thousands of youths and people all over the country in several cities and villages have protested by showing placards and messaging in the specific hashtags ‘‘Say No To Mobile Tariff Hike’’ and ‘‘Stop Privatisation’’ from 05 PM to 06 PM on 2 January 2022 on Twitter and other social media platforms. On 03 January 2022, protest programme with posters, banners, flags and placards the slogans ‘‘withdraw compulsory monthly recharge on Lifetime SIM card’’, ‘‘withdrawal of huge increase in recharge rate with data pack’’, ‘‘Abolish the plan to shut down the state-owned telecom company BSNL’’, ‘‘provide better services at a cheaper cost through public sector telecom BSNL’’, ‘‘TRAI must take appropriate steps to control the inherent mobile phone service providers in the interest of the people’’ etc. were conducted in cities, district HQs and villages.
Further, thousands of youths across the country sent email to TRAI asking it to intervene and roll back the recent hike. Going by the immense public response, this movement spearheaded by AIDYO is poised to assume a gigantic nature in the days to come.