Suhaib Idrees Lateef.
It has been a complete of 13 months since the abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A, The 5 August 2019 move, when internet connectivity was completely banned till 25 January 2020, after which slow-speed 2G internet resumed on our mobile phones. But till date, 4G internet is still a distant dream for us in Jammu and Kashmir.
As of now we are seeing the live berth, how the world has been under the continuous transformation of COVID-19 and is battling to it with much effort of lockdown pose and curfews. Similar pathetic situation seems in our State, where whole of Jammu and Kashmir state has been shut to the Covid, its deadly consequences and mounting extremity in provision to the number of positive cases.
The barring of internet move, as always, was to apparently to prevent the spread of rumors and all that incitement to violence regarding abrogation of Article 370 and 35-A by Parliament. However the situation is different and not conducive at all but fatal and vulnerable. Whole of the world has been under the siege of Deadly Corona Virus. Whole of the Globe, the developed Countries like the great superpower USA, Europe, UK, China ,Italy, Spain, South Korea and other major countries including India, Pakistan and our state are fighting the Pandemic. In fact the pandemic has ceased and engulfed whole of the Cosmic.
Last year, A research by Delhi based think-tank International Council for Research on International Economic Relations(ICRIER), revealed the daily and frequent internet disruptions had cost 4000 crore of Kashmir’s Economy in the last half decade.
Book titled ‘The Anatomy of an Internet Blackout: measuring the economy, it’s content reveals of 34 internet shutdowns in 2017 alone caused the loss of Rupees 1,776 crore.
The immediate need of hour in our state is restoration of full-fledged high speed internet. People especially the patients and the students are battling in our state, Previously due to Hartals and this time due to lockdown owing to deadly pandemic. In fact, Internet and Social media has became the spine and potency of all the issues either Politics issues, Social issues, Ethic and Moral values or our health related. If we go for reality checkouts and facts , Internet can be a good source, to bring out awareness, sharing the good and updated videos or informative lectures regarding the deadly Pandemic. Indeed, Internet can turn a good source for public to awake and to remain conscious about the deadly infection and can even stop the immortal pandemic as much of the population can sit indoors.
The Mass worst hit sector by high speed internet ban is Information technology (IT) sector Srinagar . Thousands of professionals working for different companies at Rangreth Industrial sector. After August 5 move last year, many IT firms went and close off their most of staff as whole business came to halt despite the most stringent security protector to this Market.
My Friend, Arif Yousuf, who was quite common in saying, Good and wholesome internet speed has turned an expert for both my dreams and Studies, Infact, every minute thing, little from studies to every large aspects, he was on YouTube. Now he has lost all his hopes to depth to the cause which is immiscible and invisible to him.
Irony is that, Doctors and paramedics on one side are assisting the patients through internet regarding fatal Corona Virus to keep them updated, in developed countries and Italy,France,China and America (with world’s best ever medical facilities) as particular, while Our medical and paramedical staff and we as part of largest democracy are still missing and mislading it.
How come our Government be so fragile and injudicious to us?
The main sufferers are Students as they are highly dependent on internet, as continuous internet blockade has made a mark on their studies, particularly in this crucial exigency when they are out of their Schools and Coaching institutes,
Its long term and short term effects on teachers and professionals when they have been out of their Educational hubs, when all schools and Educational institutes have been closed.
Where will the students go? What about their studies? What about the research of professionals?.
Maria Javid, 10th Class student has turned a critique to this Government order of internet ban, As she cant attend fast and comprehensive lectures through google class room and zoom, often with speechlessness and other issues like unable to download books and etc.
It is not only the single source of information but much important part of information, as every good and indigenous purpose needs it.
Every source needs it to update the latest and good information and every user finds it facile and comfortable as they get the best instructive data through it.
As the 21st century advances and as the ubiquity of the internet demonstrates knowledge regarding everything, even a minute and immediate updated information is being commodized. To kept it under control and keep people custodial for it even at this time is none other than an imbecile idea.
Students, professionals, businessmen and particularly the people suffering from deadly pandemic COVID-19 and other assorted individuals, for whom do you think, internet is not an immediate necessity.
The deadly virus is killing us day by day and hourly and we are in its aperture with shortage of internet. It simply lines Government is stocking a millions of lives at stake at this crucial Aura.
In this turbulent time, Government should leave the conflict aside, This time people are onerous and laborious for their lives. It puts a question mark to our rights as well.
The right to life and health are universally recognized and are a fundamental part of our understanding a life with dignity. Internet and social media can prove much beneficial and advantageous in these fastidious and dubious hours, can make people mindful and cautious, can help people to live in social isolation, maintaining of social distancing and to remain confined to home-quarantine and self-quarantine. The Government must understand and fathom about it to save us, to save a mass of population from this malignant and pernicious Disease.
J & K UT Administration and in particular the LG ought to understand the gravity of matter and make high speed internet available for us.
Suhaib Idrees Lateef.
Columnist, freelancer and student at SSM College of Engineering and Technology , can be mailed at email@example.com