That is ridiculous!
HUNTING DOWN PROTESTORS ON THE NET IS TOO MUCH, WRITES MEHBOOB MAKHDOOMI
I am not certain about the authenticity of the news that authorities have begun to scrutinize Facebook and other social networking sites. There are some reports that F.I.R has been filed against some of our youth in Islamabad. However, if it is the truth, it will have serious repercussions for the people as well as the state.
Undeniably and undoubtedly the anger in the youth is genuine and very much natural. It has to surface in one form or the other. They can not be told a story and pacified because of the true rationale of their alienation. In this scenario, if there are some youth expressing their opinions on the Facebook, unlike those who vent out their anger on the streets, it should not be perceived as a law and order problem. And if you do so, you are inviting even this section of the youth on to the streets.
Moreover, I would like to challenge the allegation that stone-pelting is being planned on Facebook and then implemented on the ground. It is baseless and ridiculous. Stone pelting is mostly spontaneous and very few among those actually use Facebook. The in-genuineness of this accusation is very well known to the authorities also. Now the question arises, why would they still curb it? They are worried about the embarrassment which they face among their own people in India and at the international arena as well.
There is a small section of Indian civil society who has understood Kashmir and its complexities meticulously and the state is concerned about the augmentation of this small pocket of its people.
The same attitude of India is responsible for even stone pelting. If they really want a solution for it, I can give it to them as it is very simple. Let the people protest peacefully and democratically. Let the democratic government of India proclaim that as long as the protests are peaceful and do not pose threat to the public property, force will not be used.
I, personally, guarantee that there would not be any pelting of stones, unless some state agents are present to foil it. Even this is known by the authorities more than me, but again it is nothing but the fear of embarrassment which they would have to face, after millions will march across Kashmir. Is this attitude justified? Are they on the right side of the history? Absolutely Not.
They play foul, disrupt the peaceful protests, use brute force against them, which results in the stone- pelting, which leads to innocent killings. So the cycle does not start from ‘stone pelting’ but it starts from the disruption of democratic and peaceful demonstrations. At the same time, I am aware that there are places like Nowhatta where youth start pelting stones immediately after Friday prayers. It is because the impossibility of the peaceful gathering has become so obvious. Let the democratic India institutionalize this constitutional right of the people judiciously to stop the killings. If they understand it, they would realize that stone-pelting is not the form of a protest but a spontaneous reaction to the use of force against the peaceful protests.
By ceasing people to demonstrate peacefully leads to the stone pelting, hence killings and at the same time by ceasing people to express their opinion nonviolently on social networking sites, leads to more number of stone-pelters on the roads. If India does not mind the embarrassment of massive peaceful demonstrations (Eidgah, T.R.C rallies etc of 2008), then they should allow people to protest. However, like any respectable nation, especially when seeking a permanent seat in the UN security council, if it does not like to be embarrassed, then it should come forward and solve the Kashmir imbroglio as per the wishes of Kashmiris. On the contrary, if it prefers to rely on the myopic vision of crushing the peaceful movements under the military boots, like all the oppressors of the history have chosen, then all the literature of history is open for them to read the aftermath.
That is why I said ‘’If you try to block the valve of an increasing anger, you will have a blast’’.
(Author is a US-based Kashmiri. Feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lastupdate on : Tue, 20 Jul 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 20 Jul 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 21 Jul 2010 00:00:00 IST
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