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Internet restriction and online education

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Although internet service was restored in Kashmir in the month of January this year after a long gap of more than five months but its access has remained since then limited to slow speed only. In Kashmir, internet ban (even 2G) has been so frequent that it constitutes an act of human rights violation and colonial oppression and thus represents the seamy side of men in power. The people of Kashmir have already been rendered shell-shocked by the Covid-19 pandemic like the rest of the world and the internet snatching is yet another means of marginalization. It won’t be wrong to say that the people are doubly marginalized COVID-19 pandemic, a natural calamity on one side and dictatorial and weak policies of the government on the other. The main argument here is not the restoration of high speed internet but the way authorities are time and again imposing restriction up on even slow speed internet thereby causing great damage to the already messed up education system.
The reason behind the internet blockade instantaneously when an encounter ensues on the pretext of security issues is quite incomprehensible. The sole logical reason behind it could possibly be to prevent protests and what the authorities call as ‘deliberately fabricated falsehood’. It should be admitted that the right to protest due to oppressive measures have been chocked to the extent that the people of Kashmir won’t dare to come out and disturb the ‘peace’. Besides, the current condition has forced what they are called as ‘anti-nationals’ to stay indoors as a precautionary measure instead of disturbing ‘law and order’. So, the logic behind the internet gag which has put the whole academic year at stake seems baseless. If internet suspension can help the authorities at the sake of someone’s career, imagine the amount of misery behind it. Had there been any sense of responsibility on their shoulders, the basic necessity of people might not have been snatched from them.
One can’t imagine his/her life without internet in the modern technocratic world. Every institution by hook or crook is dependent on internet. The internet blockade has an unprecedented impact on the education system as well. For education it is like that blood vessel which supplies blood to the whole body, the cut in the vessel brings the whole body to grinding halt. Imagine a student attending an online class from past few days and gets instant break for an indefinite period of time because of this undemocratic and unconstitutional act. Isn’t it sheer injustice with the academics? Internet blockade is thus strangulating every path of his/her studies. Education system is worst hit field post abrogation of article 370 besides leaving the lives of people, jobs and economy in tattered ruins. Though the Government has provided the facility of attending online classes to avert the academic havoc which the pandemic has wrought upon us, but the authorities seem to have forgotten the fact that this methodology applies to Kashmir as well and the whole system of education is in toto dependent on internet during the current scourge. Students in Kashmir like the rest of the world are seen much concerned about their smart phones and internet packs than their books as it is the only source of knowledge during the ongoing holy mess. The current session could have helped to some extent to recoup the loss that the students have faced from the past many years but the utter negligence on the part of the authorities has further pillaged the education system in Kashmir. The need of the hour is that the authorities should at all costs find some alternatives to take the student fraternity out from cynicism and doldrums so that their dreams to touch heights won’t remain a myth.