Market freedom fosters a freer press, keeps open means of expression, and thus strengthens democracy
Last week, as farmers were gearing up for protests on Republic Day, the Uttar Pradesh administration used an old trick from the Indian book of controls. It ordered supply officers in all districts to stop selling diesel to farmers. A plan to parade tractors in protest on Republic Day not only requires the right to freedom of expression, but also the means to exercise that right—in this case, diesel. If you think the government controlling diesel sales and prices is good for the poor, especially farmers, and not a means of controlling the democratic process, think again. For urban elites, such control usually takes the form of cutting off the internet, shutting down phone networks and electricity, even specific social media apps.
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