SRINAGAR – In a bid to regain voters’ support, Chief Minister of Indian Administered Jammu and Kashmir has announced new pro youth policies, lifting a four-year ban on SMS services and giving a fresh breath to the people of the turmoil-hit district.
“One fails to understand why the government first bans these services and later revoke the same,” Mukthiar Ahmad Malik, a businessman of South Kashmir, told OnIslam.net.
“The decision would have not been taken if the ruling alliance would have not faced jolt in the recently held elections,” he added, noting that the revocation of the services would help the ruling National conference is assembly elections
Earlier in May, Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah announced a new decision to revoke a four-year ban on Short Messaging Services (SMS).
The ban was originally imposed in June 2010 following a widespread unrest in the valley. However, six months later the government lifted the ban on all postp-aid mobile phone subscribers but refrained from withdrawing it on prep-aid cell phones.
“The decision was taken after the chief minister received continuous requests from the Pre-Paid Cell phone users,” official spokesman informed the reporters, adding, all concerned agencies were directed to lift ban on the SMS services.
“SMS services were banned in the Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir after ‘Pro-Freedom’ protests erupted in June 2010 apprehending misuse of the SMS in instigating protests and spreading rumours,” He added.
For many Kashmiris, Abdulllah’s decision came in a bid to regain the support of the people ahead of the assembly polls stated later this year after humiliating defeat in parliamentary general elections.
“The decision taken by the government was delayed several times but this time government was forced to revoke it keeping in view the resentment among the masses including the young people,” said Mohd Abass Bhat.
“SMS service is seen as antisocial as it involves the young people in controversy after they send meaningless messages to others,” he added.
He praised the decision as a pro-youth step, adding that Kashmiri people aspired for similar decisions in the future to end the controversy between the government and young people.
For young Kashmiris, the decision to lift SMS ban allowed them better communication with the friends.
“We are happy with the decision of lifting ban on SMS services so now we can use these services to communicate with our friends and can instantly inform our friends about the events what so ever,” Junaid Mushtaq from Anantnag district of south Kashmir, told OnIslam.net.
He added that people, particularly young boys and girls, will make good use of the services and the mobile companies will also fetch a good business out of these services.
“We expect more announcements from the government with regard to the employment and to bring the services in use while advertising the posts,” Adil Mouhidin of south Kashmir told Onislam.net.
Moreover, the government itself had a golden chance to use SMS services to connect with unemployed youth and offer various schemes and programmes that will help them get the best job opportunities.
“There were other means available to the people in getting instant information like whatsap so the ban had no relevance forcing government to lift ban on SMS,” another youth, Jaleel Mohd Khan, said.
Kashmir girls were no less enthusiastic.
“People may feel happy but if the event is seen socially or religiously it has adverse effects on the people as whole,” Says Nafeesa Hamid, adding, though judicious use of the services is not fatal for the people of the state.
She said SMS services is not only beneficial for the people but for the companies who will use SMSs to get more business.
Another young girl termed it a good step towards the freedom of expression saying that the services will able the people to exchange ideas freely with the like-minded people.
“See everything if used properly may prove productive but if it is used in a wrong sense it is always fatal not only for him but for the society as whole,” Sys
Kashmiri analysts asserted their belief that the SMS ban end seems to be a political stunt to garner people support.
“I feel the decision is politically motivated, but the move will definitely attract the minds of the youngsters to the government,” Mohammad Amin, lecturer of political science of south Kashmir told Onislam.net.
“It is not first time that decisions for banning SMS were witnessed but the internet services are also taken of the Air during mass protests and Bandh calls,” He told Onislam.net.
Four year-long ban on SMS services has caused trouble to not only the people but the mobile companies had to bear the heat as it affects their business in the state, he added.
Another political analyst, Syed Zameer Qazmi blames government and the security agencies for the messy atmosphere in the state where such decisions of ban and revocation are taken.
“Decisions of such type have been taken and revoked for one or the other reason in this trouble torn valley since 1990 and people always suffered loss due to these decisions,” he told Onislam.net.
He said, one fails to understand as what makes the government to do so one cannot really comment on these decisions, however, if all the such events are taken into consideration, the decision of lifting ban on SMS services seems a step ahead for bringing change.
Religious scholars term the decision nonp-roductive as young people can make misuse of the services by getting attracted to the antisocial activities.
“SMS services can be useful for the business class but for the youth it is always fatal as they (Young boys and girls) sometimes share such things through SMS which landed them into controversy,” Moulvi Imran a local Imam from South Kashmir told Onislam.net, adding, I have seen such cases where young boys send SMS to unknown numbers and later landed into trouble.
“The decision was taken following the defeat in the elections and with this the ruling NC will attract the people to the measures taken by the government in this regard,” Mohd Jabar Kuttay told Onislam.net.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here
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