Ban on Internet affects Tourism & Education in Kashmir -
Ban on Internet affects Tourism & Education in Kashmir
Posted 28 Nov 2019 05:57 PM


The communications blackout were imposed in August. Internet, mobile phone connections, and telephone lines were cut off fearing a massive backlash against the repealing of Article 370 of the Indian constitution which guaranteed the state’s autonomy. Though some lines have been restored since then, the state is still largely out of bounds in terms of connectivity.

Let’s see how it has affected Tourism & Education in Kashmir.

Days before announcing the decision on Article 370, the state government had asked all tourists in Kashmir to leave the Valley.
According to officials in the Tourist Department, about 20,000-25,000 visitors were present in the Valley, which was in its peak tourist season.
Since then, the Valley is without tourists, which has brought the industry -- believed to be the backbone of Kashmir's economy -- to its knees.

Empty houseboats, vacant hotels and deserted resorts present a gloomy picture of Kashmir's tourism sector which is going through one of its worst phases.
Sonamarg -- considered as the gateway to Ladakh region -- is a picturesque resort in central Kashmir's Ganderbal district and usually remained crammed with visitors.
However, the resort looks deserted now with most of the hotels, restaurants and shops closed for business.

The ban on the internet makes the situation worse as who would want to be completely detached from their families and the rest of the world just to visit Kashmir.

With tourist arrivals severely hit, the business is zero. The problem has been accentuated by the non-availability of the internet. Because of the lack of it, they cannot communicate with the tourists who wish to come to Kashmir. The benefit of this situation is being taken by neighboring states and they are diverting all the tourists from Kashmir who wish to enjoy snowfall.

On the Education front, in an era of information life takes a backseat when there is an abrupt shutdown of the internet. The various studies related to the usage of internet facilities in academics clearly reflect its relation to academic performance. It has a great impact on the academic research and teaching-learning process. Most importantly, in the universities, both mentor and scholar are largely dependent on it to complete their thesis.

After selecting their research topics they continuously have to use the internet to complete the different steps of their research journey. Since the selection of topics, review of literature, writing of chapters to a conclusion a researcher has to use the internet regularly.

In the case of researchers, it has affected very badly. Many researchers at the edge of completion could not submit their work, some were unable to start their work after completion of their course work and some unable to submit the synopsis due to lack of internet facility for the last three months.

There are many students who said that some of their best opportunities were casualties to these internet bans as they lost their chances of applying online to many universities in India and abroad.

The effect doesn’t end here but also has hampered scholar’s participation in the day to day academic seminars and conferences as he or she cannot get the notification related to these events. They have become inactive in participating in the seminars and conferences and publishing their research works.

What can be done
Recently the govt gave internet facilities to more than 80 businesses in Kashmir on specific terms that they won’t violate the internet facilities.
The internet should be extended to hotels, Travel agents and Universities too, which can be based on terms and conditions.

Further, the govt should give some incentives to hotel owners like tax redemption, fuel subsidy to boost tourism in the state.
The good intentions of the Government towards the region can be materialized through taking the majority into confidence. The Government may claim to counter the sponsoring of terrorism and militancy in the region, but it shouldn’t be expressed through curtailing liberties of the common people.

Leave a comment: (Your email will not be published)