Thursday, October 4, 2012


By: Bilal Bashir Bhat
  After the release of recent anti-Islamic video by a western scoundrel which sparked violent protests throughout the Muslim world that resulted the deaths of dozens including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens. Even the railways minister of Pakistan, Ghulam Ahmad Balor, said he would pay the reward of £60,000 out of his own pocket to one who will kill the filmmaker. 
Meanwhile Kashmir also witnessed the strong protests against the filmmakers, US and Israel, a daylong complete strike was observed throughout Jammu and Kashmir, Demonstrators burned U.S. flags and demanded filmmakers be punished, Authorities imposed curfew in some parts of Srinagar, a Government vehicle was torched, however fortunately no loss of life was reported during the protests.  
Every Muslim of Kashmir was demanding the ban on Youtube, where the blasphemous video was available for every user who may wish to watch or download.  Later the video was blocked in various countries including India, after the White House denounced the film. 
Here in Kashmir, the most popular social media sites Facebook and Twiiter were found full of Anti America & Israel content which was uploaded by Lakhs of people to register their protest against the same. Every user was demanding the ban on Youtube. Even the Cabinet led by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also denounced the video. 
Finally the attention was diverted following the ongoing T-20 world cup in Sri Lanka, now the same Facebook walls of same users was full of content supporting favorite cricket team mostly Pakistan. 
But hours after the President Pranab Mukherjee’s arrival here in Kashmir on 26th September, Government by some unknown reasons ordered Internet-service providers to block social networking websites such as YouTube and Facebook. However some people can access Facebook as well as YouTube on their mobile phones, while Facebook can sometimes be opened on laptops and computers via broadband, but this access comes and goes. 
Reacting to media reports, Minister for Information and Technology Aga Ruhullah, however, denied any attempt to crack down on free speech in Kashmir. “We are liberal as before,” he said. “But it is the right of every government to control a bad situation.”
“It is due to the ban imposed on Facebook and YouTube…We are sorry, but the sites are barred till further orders by Government,” a Tata Docomo customer care executive told this writer during a conversation on phone.
In the present modern times, Facebook is an inexpensive form of communication with friends and relatives throughout the world. But after the blockage of Facebook, frustration among youth including this writer can be identified easily. 
Every youth of Kashmir addicted to Facebook seems helpless against the uncertain orders of blockage of Media Networks by state Government, where SMS service is already blocked for the last two years. 
Finally, being a Journo I would like to request State Assembly members for a discussion in Assembly regarding the blockage of Facebook as this matter is same related to almost every household like the Gas subsidy.
(The writer can be reached at:


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