2G Kashmir in a 5G World

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INTERNET services were snapped last year with the abrogation of Article-370, only to be resumed after months at 2g speeds. Different sectors including health, education and businesses which are in this age heavily dependent on internet suffered severe losses. While the internet services were resumed at throttled speeds, Covid-19 outbreak engulfed the entire state like any other part of the world invoking a lockdown by the authorities. It caused educational institutions to suspend their operations, businesses were shut and offices started working from home through internet meetings. In any other part of the world, it could’ve been convenient but in Jammu and Kashmir people suffered again. Students, businessmen, and everyone dependent on internet suffered due to an internet speed which rarely operates anywhere else apart from our region.

During the time of Covid-19 lockdowns, the governments around the world were offering free internet as well as access to entertainment platforms for free. On the other end, in Jammu and Kashmir it felt like we were taken out of one coop to be locked into another. The classes of our students went online and they faced severe problems to attend and understand lectures through a pathetic internet which is being provided. Our students had to face national level examinations like NEET/IIT-JEE with fewer and constrained resources, which encompasses the equilibrium of equity by huge margins.

Apart from that, we also saw that internet was used as a combative tool by WHO to educate and enlighten people about the corona virus. However, in this part of the world we were still kept deprived from it.

Since the world is already moving towards 5g, it’s primitive to keep a huge section of people deprived of their access to high speed internet. The world has already been accustomed to new working models which are heavily based on internet usage. Going with the tradition of moving forward, instead of going back in time, it becomes imperative on the authorities to lift the constraints on high speed internet.

The telecommunication companies have been charging for 4g plans from the customers while providing them with 2g services. This is an open fraud being practiced in a broad daylight with no accountability and transparency at all. They’ve already earned more than what they deserved to be paid.

The resumption of high speed internet should be considered by the authorities as the continuous bar on it makes it a case of abject discrimination against Kashmiris. In this world where every field has a cut throat competition going on, our people can’t be provided with an uneven field and then expected to go and compete with those who are provided with all the necessities and amenities.

Sadam Sahaf

[email protected]

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