The Lost Symbol Of Freedom
By Ravi Nitesh
21 November, 2012
Kashmir is a region that is witnessed of many violence and violations from various sides. People are certainly fed up with all these things and they need (as their right) to get sigh of relief in a peaceful atmosphere of this land. Though we cannot blame fully on a single entity for all these conflicts, but in spite of various other things keeping in mind , we also view the role of government(s) as an inhumane and based on machinization of policies rather than humanization of policies.
It seems that political motives are limited only up to regulating and ruling over the territory. Infact, not only in J&K, but in other Indian states too, we can see the inhumane rules and rulings. It seems that government(s) misinterpreted the constitution and are only restricted to ‘sovereignty’ and overlooked other constitutional values of equality and freedom. There are too many things about which we can talk here to prove all these things and in reality its experience anyone can get by visiting the valley and experiencing life there. Rather than talking about human rights violations through any physical torture, militarization, encounters etc, I would like to put a very little but important thing that , in my view is a symbol of freedom is Short Message Service (SMS) provided on cellphones. This symbol has been lost in prepaid cellular services in this region. Yes, one may see it as a silly thing to raise, but it can be asked that if it is really a silly thing, then why it is banned? It certainly means that this service provides a vital role in connecting the masses. SMSes are a form of your expression of emotions and any block on it must be viewed as block on freedom of expression. Moreover, it also limits the people to people connection while for any country, culture and constitution , people to people communication has been seen as the most healthy step for a peaceful and harmonious society.
In other points, Economical sides are away from this debate, while it can argue that a common user cannot keep postpaid mobile phones to get this service. Besides, on account of health, doctors and medical institutions recommend and prefer SMSes over the phone calls in view of radiation intensity and its effects. I am in wonder, that when all these arguments are already present with us, why we allowed ourselves to accept this restriction? Is it merely because leaders have their postpaid connections? Is it because a common prepaid users cannot get courage to raise voice against this? Is it because we are ready to align ourselves in any situation, in lack of freedom and facilities? Is it because our rights are so deprived and violated that we neglect all these issues? Government agencies claims the logic of restriction is to limiting the reach of SMS users to restrict spreading any ‘unwanted’ news. But is it really much logical that blocking P2P communication is justified? Probably not.
Though we accept that central government has every right to decide the matters of communication, defence , currency in J&K as per constitution, but we must not forget that applying certain restrictions to restrict the freedom of individuals cannot be considered as constitutional. SMS service is a lost symbol of freedom in J&K, for which we all must demand to get it back.
Petroleum Engineer, Founder- Mission Bhartiyam
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