Recurrent Internet Shutdowns

Recurrent Internet Shutdowns
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Each time, something untoward happens in Kashmir, the internet services are either suspended or slowed down to an extent that it amounts to a suspension of these services. In this day and age, this might even amount to a scandal given that we live in an era that is defined by an Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) revolution. This particular revolution has not only upended past paradigm but also shibboleths. The near obsolescence of Post Offices around the world constitutes a clear and eloquent example of this. This institution has been supplanted by the internet which has become the dominant mode of communication in the contemporary world. The communication function of the internet is now the backbone of organizations, governments, universities and other academic institutions and so on. Virtually, everyone in the world is now almost connected in one way or the other. But, this feature of the contemporary world appears to be lost on powers that be here. While Kashmir is not really connected and ensconced in the information super highways of the world and the global economy and businesses here are still mostly bricks and mortar type, for obvious reasons, however, the education sector in the region relies to a large extent on this medium of communication. Students of assorted backgrounds have to download material, or more prosaically but at the same time, importantly, in their quest to seek admissions to universities outside the state or even internationally, are at the receiving end of these shutdowns. Moreover, with the passage of time, the day when the ICT revolution becomes widespread in Kashmir might not be too far off. But, the constancy of conditions that obtain here will perhaps, in all likelihood, remain. Will the shutdowns of the internet or its slowdown be taken recourse to then as well? We live in an age that is defined by hyperconnectivity. To cite an example, even manufacturing, hitherto held to be a staid, non tradable business and commercial activity , is also affected by the Internet.( It is referred to as the Internet of Things(IoT). In all likelihood, there will be more revolutionary advances in communications and technology but Kashmir , will lag behind in this important and significant dimension. Let then internet connectivity and is seamless and smooth functioning be made a priority and be aligned with that of the world.