The struggle with internet clampdown

2G internet services extended to 8th Jan

Would it be possible to imagine a life without the internet? How dreadful would it sound in today’s world? It would be an absolute dystopia. Would it be even possible to imagine that one day the world wakes up to the fact that they are living a life without the internet.

Life without internet is something unfathomable in today’s world where technological advancements are at peak. Everything has become so easy and manageable. The Internet in particular has become one of the most basic necessities just like food, oxygen and water.

Internet clampdown in Kashmir got the people to face adversity. One day where they were living normal lives with everything in place, the other day they woke up to a completely different world. Nothing was the same anymore. They had no idea what was happening even in the outside premises of their house, such was the condition post Aug 5, when people were confined to just the four walls of their house and the phone and internet service was snapped, the life of the people in kashmir halted a great deal. Education, business, and everything else went out of sorts and  was crippled down. 

Imtiyaz Nazir(name changed), a budding business man had freshly ventured on a new start-up, a call-centre, which was supposed to be inaugurated the day Art.370 was scrapped. With all the preparations and formalities in place, the only thing that was to be done was the opening or the inauguration, however, little did he know that all his hopes and aspirations would be drained down and his new venture would be shattered  to futility. Imtiyaz had raised the finances for his venture by selling off an orchard. To the most, everybody could empathise with Imtiyaz, nonetheless , it would be almost impossible to feel the same pain and hopelessness that Imtiyaz would have felt at the moment.

Schools were seeming like an abandoned place with zero hopes of revival, and students were left to sulk listlessly. Wouldn’t it be absolutely maddening for people to even try to think about how life has been in Kashmir over the past one year. While all of this was lurking like a dark shadow, there came in the pandemic and everything was forced to go virtual or online. From education to the businesses to every small thing, all of it went online. The world adapted to a virtual way of living.  For the already agonized Kashmir, the truth of the virtual/online world looked like a sword of Damocles.

For students who had not been to schools and colleges already for a lengthy period of time, now had another predicament to fight. It was the struggle of online classes with a bare minimum internet connectivity. It was a struggle in the literal meaning of the word,and the students were having a real hard time to get through. Using laptops was not even an option because they barely functioned on the internet speed that we were spared  with. Mobile phones did a fine job until the refresh option was not clicked a plethora of times for a particular page to load.

Nothing has changed, nothing has been improvised, the only thing that persisted was the struggle, it is the struggle of living a primitive life in a highly upgraded and advanced world. It is like living a stone-age life in the modern contemporary times. It is not easy in current times to lose your years long work-data in a matter of few months,it is not easy to see your business shatter when it is not even started off properly, it is not a normal thing to lose one precious year of education and it is definitely not easy to live what Kashmir has been living through. In a war of ideologies emotions are being destroyed. Peace is awaited


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About the author

Muskan Yousuf Maknoo

Journalism student at National School of Journalism, Bengaluru. She can be reached at [email protected]

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