The Indian Surveillance Story — Episode 1 of The Impact

Hosted by Chirag Chinnappa
Edited by Manasi Nene 

The Indian state’s tryst with surveillance burst into the spotlight earlier this year, with the revelation that a kind of spyware—Pegasus—was used to track over 300 Indian ministers, opposition leaders, political strategists, journalists, activists, minority leaders, supreme court judges and more. And the Pegasus issue is only the latest in a larger trend of governments, both Central and State, engaging in such big-brother like activities over time; the first big instance of the same can be traced back all the way to the 1980s.

So how and why has this been a feature of India’s governance for so long? What are some of the underlying frameworks that enable such surveillance? And will privacy matter enough for citizens to impact who they vote for? Meghna Bal, Fellow at Esya Centre, explains these questions and more, in episode 1 of The Impact.

The Impact is a new video series created in collaboration with Esya Centre, through which we explore India’s rise as a global tech player and the impact this has on the country’s citizens.

Chirag is the Co-Founder of and Chief Editor at The Bastion. Most of his work is fuelled by dinner-table conversations where adults hold unwavering beliefs and an even stronger will to listen selectively.
Manasi is a writer, filmmaker, and musician who is keen on exploring issues of education, technology and community mental health. She has also been active in the beatboxing and slam poetry communities of India. Off-the-clock, she can be found cycling, daydreaming, or daydreaming about cycling. Manasi works as The Bastion's Multimedia Associate.

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