oppn parties Use Of Social Media Allowed In Kashmir On Slower Networks

News Snippets

  • Flipkart assures employees that there will be no job or salary cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Although it was obvious, but the government still clarifies that there is no need to switch off appliances and only lights need to be switched off on April 5 at 9pm after confusion in the minds of some people
  • PM Modi and President Trump decide "to deploy full strength of (Indo-US) partnership" to fight against COVID-19
  • 17 states have reported 1023 cases of coronavirus linked to the Tablighi Jamaat, which translates to 30% of all positive cases in India
  • The government says people should not use alcohol-based hand sanitizers before lighting diyas or candles on April 5
  • The railways say there is no certainty yet when services will resume after the lockdown and a final decision will be taken in the next few days
  • As coronavirus cases multiply in Assam, six north-east states seal their borders with the state
  • Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. (POCOSO) putting all systems and protocols in place at war-footing to ensure there is no grid failure due to reduction in demand on April 5 at 9 pm
  • Power ministry scotches rumours that the power grid might fail due to the 9-minute blackout called by PM Modi on Sunday, April 5
  • Centre asks people to wear home-made masks if it is absolutely essential for them to step out of homes
  • Centre asks states to allow licensed street vendors to sell essential items
  • 8000 samples were tested across India on April 2, but the government said that testing will be need-based and will not be used as a confidence-boosting measure
  • Air India operating special flights to fly passengers stuck in India since the lockdown
  • For the first time in history, Darjeeling loses first flush tea due to suspension of garden work for Covid-19 outbreak
  • Supreme Court asks journalists to be responsible and publish only the official version of news after it was brought to its notice that migrant exodus started after the 'fake' news that the lockdown will be extended to three months
Total count stands ar 3082 as India records 16 Covid-19 deaths, the highest in a single day
oppn parties
Use Of Social Media Allowed In Kashmir On Slower Networks

By Linus Garg
First publised on 2020-03-05 12:49:10

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Linus tackles things head-on. He takes sides in his analysis and it fits excellently with our editorial policy. No 'maybe's' and 'allegedly' for him, only things in black and white.

The J&K administration has taken the decision to allow the use of social media in the state. Currently, it has been allowed only on 2G networks and fixed-line internet. But it is a huge step forward in restoring normalcy in the state.

No state can live in isolation and with such severe restrictions in this age of instant communication. Although the role of social media in the spread of fake news and incriminating material cannot be underplayed, a blanket ban for an indefinite period is not the solution.

But since many riots in recent times have taken place due to alarmist forwards on social media and instant messaging platforms, the government was right in suspending the use of the same after the momentous decision to abrogate Article 370. The problem was in keeping the ban running for such a long time.

At that time, it was feared that the opponents of the decision would try and disrupt peace by spreading rumours. In J&K, the additional fear was from the Pakistani angle. It was quite possible that terror groups based in that country or even social media handles dedicated for the purpose would have used social media and instant messaging to create divisive narratives and mislead the people of the state. They might have used the geographical similarity in PoK and the Kashmir valley to create inflammatory videos in PoK and pass then off as incidents in the valley to spark off riots.

But since seven months have passed and since the state is showing signs of returning to normalcy, it is necessary for the government to relax the restrictions. The government has been doing so in phases but in an excruciatingly slow manner. While the ground situation and the security concerns might have hindered a faster response until now, international pressure is mounting. If the government does not take fast decisions now, it might lose the goodwill that allowed it to negate the negative narrative that Pakistan tried to build around Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370.