Reconnecting to wrong signal

April 7, 2018 EDITORIAL 64 Views
Reconnecting to wrong signal

With the changing situation in restive Kashmir region, the PDP-BJP led coalition government is reconnecting to the wrong signal. The situation is going from bad to worse. Police and paramilitary forces are on toes claiming to maintain the law and order situation across Kashmir region, The internet ban by the government of Jammu and Kashmir has become a norm of the day and the protests in restive Kashmir valley region has have become directly proportional to Internet blockade. The government machinery swings into action immediately after any untoward incident is reported from any area of Kashmir region. As reported earlier the government had snapped internet services in Kashmir at least 50 times in the last few years. This is excluding the frequent blocking of the services in the violence hit south and north Kashmir. Since the killing of Burhan Wani in July 2016, neither the protests nor the blockades of essential services have died down. Though the government has remained silent on the issue, whenever it has spoken it has defended the blockade as necessary or precautionary measure to control law and order situation in the valley. Not much is known about the process, but the way it has been happening authorities seem to be experimenting with it. At times only selected websites, social media platforms and other portals remain inaccessible during the blockade period, while as in other cases a blanket ban is imposed on internet and mobile data services. It is the latter that is most damaging as its effects are felt by all and everywhere in the region. It affects all businesses that essentially require internet connectivity for communication and business processes – mails cannot be send and received, important updates cannot be monitored, production gets halted and all related activities delayed till the restoration of the services. The common perception, perhaps shared by the government, is that social media become tools of mass mobilization during protests. On one hand the government has been championing the cause of establishing technology-driven enterprises in the state and on the other it has been snapping the services in a jiffy whenever it feels a threat to law and order in the state. The government has been talking about e-governance and introducing the latest technologies in different departments. In tourism industry alone, it has been promoting social media and using the same to promote the state tourism. All such efforts by the government go waste as long as pushing the internet off button remains the first option to contain public outrage. Besides, the subject is treated as a basic right everywhere. This is the right time for the government for press the right button for getting the right results before the situation in Kashmir go out of their hands.

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