Kashmir’s e-silence: The unheard facts behind the curtain of the Internet Ban

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Jammu & Kashmir – the name itself is enough to create endless bubbles of thoughts. With the constant battle to keep the ‘heaven-on-earth’ integrated to India, a lot of unheard of situations have popped up with the course of time. At present, Kashmir may seem silent to you. But the foggy curtain unveils the hurdles of the people of the northern land which has been witnessing the longest Internet Censorship in the history of India.

It’s been six months since the Indian government put an internet Ban on Jammu and Kashmir on 5th of August, last year, after revoking the ‘special status’ under Article 370 of the Indian constitution. Since then, ‘no access to the internet’ became an everyday phenomenon in the most unrest state of India.

After the verdict of the Supreme Court came out on 10th January this year, it was evident that the total internet blackout in Kashmir was illegal. But in response to that, the government came out with a list of 153 websites that were supposedly made accessible to the people of the state. Later, on 24th of January, the number of sites were increased to 301.

But does the problem end here?

In a report presented by the ‘Reporters Without Borders’, many stories of the hardship of the journalists came out despite making a few accessibilities by the government.

While the government is raving the fact that 2G mobile internet has been restored in the valley, it has come out that it is still inconvenient for many reporters as well as for common Kashmiris to make use of the ‘one connection point for every 9,500 users’. This high traffic with low accessibility makes the internet too slow to use.

Jehangir Rashid Malik, an Early Times correspondent said,

“The right to Information is nowadays considered to be a basic right. But, it’s sad that the people of Kashmir are being deprived of this fundamental right.”

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