Hurriyat Conference (G) entered the cyberspace with the launch of its website under three different web addresses www.syedaligeelani.info, www.huriyatconference.com and www.tehreekhurriyat.com. The party termed the launch of the website as a personal initiative of its leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who interestingly has never operated a computer himself.
The website offers information related to the party’s opinion of Kashmir issue, about Geelani himself – ranging from his personality profile to the books authored by him, news, interactive features like question and answer, blog, forum and ask a question, and social networking integration. “The website, which took three months (to develop), was need of the hour to reach people living outside J-K to understand our struggle and sufferings,” said Hurriyat spokesman Ayaz Akbar.
The launching of the website is important. It gives the party a footing in the cyberspace, which till now was an almost uncontested dominion of the chief minister Omar Abdullah, whose active use of twitter to express his opinions makes headlines in local as well as national media almost every day. Till now the only real competition he had was from Facebook groups like Aalaw, which had tens of thousands of users but had recently started losing appeal. Even though Omar Abdullah was the only one whose internet activity made headlines, all the major political parties including National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party, as well as the Mirwaiz Umar led Hurriyat Conference (M) had their websites.
But the website launched by the Hurriyat (G) scores on the other party websites in terms of design and the large amount of content. Its social networking integration already displays more than 750 likes. The website also has a dedicated section for tourist and pilgrims visiting Kashmir from the mainland. The Hurriyat also says it shall work for the eradication of all sorts of exploitation in the name of politics, religion and liberalism. “It shall make efforts to build a society whose motto shall be co-operation in all that is good and non-cooperation in all that is evil,” says the website. It also appeals to 57 members of the Organisation of Islamic Conference to play their role “to resolve the issues of the Ummah and not to play in the hands of those who have filled this world with tyranny, corruption and mischief.”
The launch of the website is bound to create more competition in the cyberspace between political parties both mainstream and separatist, and more such websites should be expected in the near future. The business of web-designers is also bound to increase. However, the establishment, sources say, is now keeping a close watch on the designers also.