Internet ban will lead to nowhere

Internet ban will lead to nowhere

In a day and age when Information, Communication and Technology could be said to be determinative influences on social, political, economic and cultural realms, the authorities have decided to impose a ban on internet services in Kashmir. The internet is now woven into the fabric of societies and impinges upon all facets of life. At one level, the ban suggests how distant and far Kashmir is from the connected or “linked” world. At another, the implication is of control by authorities on an important facet of life in Kashmir (for whatever reasons). Notwithstanding the weak connectivity of Kashmir within and without, aspects or domains of quotidian life – banking, e-commerce, education and so on – will all be affected in the Valley. This accrues from the effect of the Moore’s Law and its applicability in Kashmir in the domain of computing and the internet. The Moore’s Law has entailed the compounding of computing power and internet services in Kashmir, even though this is in the nature of a spill-over effect in technology – computing, telephony and networking – elsewhere. An internet ban would deprive a substantive section of society of communication and other allied internet services. On the face of it, the ban has been instituted for “security” reasons, that is, the viral effect on social media of protests lead to a certain climate of opinion in Kashmir. But, the question is, would a ban change the underlying dynamics and conditions in Kashmir? A big NO is the resounding answer. Starving people of communication is neither the antidote nor the panacea to what essentially is a political issue. It is about time that this fact dawns upon the powers that be. Fair is fair and what is fair in the context of Kashmir is a multi-stakeholder dialogue on Kashmir to resolve the conflict. Any other approach – including the internet ban – is a chimera which, in the final analysis, constitutes the road to nowhere!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.