Digital India Denies Kashmir The Internet
No Internet for Kashmir through Eid
SRINAGAR: While Prime Minister Narendra Modi took his 'Digital India' initiative to the Silicon Valley with much fanfare, netizens used the occasion to mock at his government for curtailing internet services in Kashmir Valley on Eid.
"Dear @narendramodi while you extoll #India #socialmedia opportunities, why impose three day #internetban in Kashmir Valley? #justasking," Rafiq Kathwari, an acclaimed Kashmiri poet based in the UK, tweeted.
The unprecedented restrictions, clamped down probably for the first time on the occasion of Eid when people use the social networking sites to exchange greetings with their friends and relatives, caused great inconvenience to people living in and outside the Valley.
"The ban on internet was supposed to end on 26.09.2015 (10 pm) according to official order and still no sign on the internet in Kashmir. I just wanted to Skype with my kid," Tawheed Rehman, a Kashmiri academic based in Hyderabad wrote on Facebook on the third day of Eid.
The restrictions were implemented amid fears that violence might break out over the issue of beef ban with the security agencies warning of a communal flare-up in the state. However, since the ban was restricted to only Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley, it evoked resentment against the government.
"Shame: Government chose to draw ‘LoC’ between Jammu and Kashmir and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Facebook, Twitter ‘neighborhoods’. Ironically that ahead of his visit to Silicon Valley," senior journalist Yusuf Jameel wrote on Facebook.
The 82-hour long ban was also met with derision and anger against the ruling Peoples Democratic Party by netizens of the Valley, many of whom took to social networking sites to exchange Eid greetings, a day ahead of the holy festival.
"PDP is party with difference. Only this party can block internet for three days and pass it off as welfare scheme for Muslims of the state," Naseer Ganai, who works with India Today wrote on Facebook.
Three days later when the internet services were restored, there was a massive outpouring of anger against the government. "To all those changing their pic to the tri-colour to celebrate/support "digital india". Just know this. Shameful, really," Azad Essa, a journalist based in South Africa wrote on Facebook, moments after the ban was lifted on internet services.
"By imposing ban on internet, India and pro-Indian Kashmiris have proved that we are their slaves. Democracy and protector of human rights have forgot that freedom of speech is also human right. #OccupiedKashmir #InternetBan," Aabid Hussain wrote on Facebook.