India's tryst with the digital is an extensive project and while much media attention is given to flagship projects, the story is also of marginalized peoples, in cities, appropriating digital leaks, using the digital and thereby contributing to the digital economy. It is this battle between enclosing the digital and extending access to it that makes the story of the digital in India an exciting one.
Digital India is a case study-based, critical introduction to the theory and practice of the digital in social change. The volume—with its chapters on telecommunications, software, mobile telephony, e-governance, ICT4D, software patenting, public sector software and cultural piracy—offers an entry point into an understanding of the contested nature of the digital in India via an analysis of theory and practice.
Chapter 4: Telecommunications and Universal Service Obligations in India
The final chapter in this volume is on cultural piracy. It deals with realities of the ‘copy’ in networked India. While the government and cultural and informational industries have invested in law and order solutions aimed at curbing the practice of piracy, it is difficult to curb, precisely because we live in the era of the copy. This chapter argues that pirate solutions from below need to be ‘weighed’ in context, since they offer the means for those on the margins to encounter and participate in the digital economy and, thus, contribute to digital futures for all.[Page 174]