High speed internet services have returned to Jammu and Kashmir nearly after one and half year. Restoration of 4G services has elated the people. But some critics are propagating that the government has done no favour by restoring these services.
The internet was suspended in J&K on August 5, 2019 when the Centre announced its decision to abrogate J&K's special status and bifurcated it into two union territories.
The critics, who are claiming that 4G should have been restored long back, seem to have forgotten a vital fact that the internet suspension in J&K didn't allow Pakistan to trigger frenzy. Had the Centre not suspended the high speed internet services, people sitting across the Line of Control would have made every possible attempt to burn Kashmir through social media. The internet blockade didn't allow them to succeed in their designs.
After the abrogation of Article 370, Kashmir remained calm as the instigators were kept at bay. The investigations and developments have revealed that elements inimical to peace used internet as a tool to lure youth towards militancy and radicalization.
The government took its time to lift the ban over 4G services and allowed things to settle down after the abrogation of the Article 370. Had it succumbed under pressure, more youth would have got radicalized and could have possibly become militants.
Now, the 4G is back and people are happy, but they should bear it in mind that internet needs to be used for constructive purpose rather than using it for a propaganda against their own country.
The BJP led Central Government has proven it beyond doubt that it cares for the people of J&K and believes that their lives are precious than anything else. When the Article 370 was scrapped many people were of the opinion that Kashmir will erupt and mass killings could take place, but the people remained calm and didn't react. The main reason for people not reacting was that the situation was handled carefully and no room was given to the miscreants who could have exploited a common man.
After August 5, 2019, our neighbouring country left no stone unturned to foment trouble in Kashmir. But in absence of internet it couldn't do much as the ones who could have executed their instructions were incommunicado.
The absence of 4G services in Kashmir hit every sector and people have realized the importance of internet. Now, it's for them to ensure that this facility is not misused. It's the responsibility of the parents to keep a vigil on the activities of their children and ensure that they don't fall prey to the propaganda that our adversaries have launched against the country.
To build "Naya Jammu and Kashmir" is our responsibility. Time has changed and we cannot keep on running after the illusions. The dream merchants who sold dreams during the past three decades stand exposed as on date. All their promises have turned out to be a hoax. Ones who used to propagate the cause of our neighboring country have turned mute as they are aware of the fact that time to sell slogans is over and they cannot run their shops by pushing youth towards violence.
People in Kashmir have witnessed enough of bloodshed and mayhem they want to live a peaceful life and want to prosper. They have become politically mature and cannot be misled anymore.
Suspension of 4G services for more than 500 days in J&K led to economic losses but it saved lives and provided people with an opportunity to think what's good and bad for them.
Peace is a prerequisite for development and the economic growth. If there is no peace nothing will move. Ones who are once again trying to create confusion are not doing any good to people. No conflict can prevail forever. Change is mandatory. After August 5, 2019 many things have changed in Kashmir and the biggest visible change is the desire for peace. Young faces who have replaced the traditional politicians during the past one and a half year are keen to serve their people and pull Kashmir out of the quagmire of uncertainty. They are out to change the destiny of the people of this battered land, which was used as a battlefield by Pakistan to settle scores with India. But now the people of Kashmir have realized that they cannot suffer forever and they need to be left alone.
The writer is a former journalist, EX VC JKPCC & a Politician.