Kashmir’s Eid Without Internet

Riyaz Ul Khaliq



This Eid, it was all together a different for the Gen-X of Kashmir. For the first time, they celebrated Eid without using the internet facilities.

The government ordered snapping of the ‘online’ facility which was facing an uphill task on Eid in maintaining law and order.

High Court had directed police to implement a particular section of the RPC that ban cow slaughter. In reaction, Kashmir remained in protest for a day as scores of videos of cow slaughter were carried out and uploaded on social websites.

On Eid, police said it was apprehensive that Kashmir may offer cow sacrifice and upload the live videos again. This, they argued could vitiate the situation in mainland India. In a bid to prevent this, they stopped the internet.

While people slaughtered bovine animals in Kashmir on Eid, a debate emerged with people holding two different views on the issue.

For many, the ban “bridged the relations” while others termed it “oppressive” measure; Kashmir has been facing suspension of internet and SMS services, of late.

Mobiles which came to Kashmir market as late as 2003, J&K has over thirty five Lakh active mobile connections in 2015.

On several occasions, authorities snapped the internet facilities particularly on August 15 and January 26. Since 2008 civil unrest, the authorities even suspended SMS services in valley.

“The internet snapping step of the PDP led government has proven a hoax for the party which would claim they would uphold value of ‘Battle of Ideas’,” Zubair Khan, an old city resident said adding, “this is a basic human rights violation; India’s democratic claims is questioned when one crosses Lakhanpur.”

The upsurge in usage of internet facility through social networking sites has proved a challenging problem for the authorities. And this time, the beef ban controversy again put state power in action with complete ban on internet.

Zubair added, “communications have emerged as a full-fledged human right like we have right for food; and this ban was simply a denial of that right.”

However, many countryside people differed with the observations. The people believe that snapping of internet facilities have improved “footfall on the door steps”.

“People started to come and meet their relatives,” Manzoor Ahmad from South Kashmir’s Pulwama said, “however, on Eid-al-Azha, people have to distribute the sacrificial meet; but the social networking sites had put a stop on physical meets. People would chat through messages.”

A Srinagar based commentator said, “state conceded that imposition (beef ban) will not be successfully done and there will be pictures, videos of Bovine sacrifices. The circulation of such content through internet services would have undermined state authority.” “In order to avoid such an embarrassing situation, they banned the internet services,” he added.

The commentator further said, “the sharing of such videos or photos would have led to a chain sacrifice.”

A countryside Facebook addicted student while narrating her experience of last three days without using social networking site said, “Believe me, I am reliving my social life.”


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