Internet, social media ban hits bottomlines

After inaugurating a highway tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) on April 2, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had entreated the youths of the nation to select tourism over terrorism, promising them jobs and investment. Before the month may want to end, authorities enforced an internet ban in the place. Barely a month before that, on April 26, the nation government had banned 22 social media systems, consisting of Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp.

The ban has now not most effective reduce human beings off social networks — even though many have observed a manner to flout it — it has also stifled the earning possibilities of those employed in tourism and associated fields.

Mir Iqbal, a young entrepreneur from South Kashmir’s restive Shopian district, says his enterprise has plummeted with the aid of 80% since the ban got here into effect. He began his task, Mir Agrofarm Products, which sells saffron, the dry end result, and natural meals products, most effective ultimate year. “I used to acquire online orders from extraordinary parts of India. But the net ban has almost shut my commercial enterprise,” he says.

There are about 1,000 human beings employed in the e-commerce region in Kashmir. President of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mushtaq Ahmad Wani, instructed 101Reporters that tourism, handicraft, and horticulture sectors have registered a 50% decline in business thanks to the internet ban.

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Chairperson of Kashmir Economic Alliance Muhammad Yasin Khan says more than 50% enterprise transactions within the valley take place online. “These transactions have now come to a halt,” he says.

A spokesperson for the Courier Service Providers’ Association says courier companies in the place were going through losses of Rs 30-forty lakh every day. “We are absolutely dependent on the net. People are not having the ability to buy anything online,” he says.

Part food, an internet food transport provider that changed into commenced slightly six months in the past by means of college students Amir Bashir Dar, 19, and Furqan Qureshi, 21, is every other living proof. Until April, they had been receiving orders thru Facebook and the enterprise was “overwhelming”, a lot so they launched an internet site and an Android app.

“Our business becomes flourishing till a month in the past,” Dar says, adding they had employed some transport boys and supposed to hire 20 extra as they had been to start turning in drugs and groceries in May. The ban has taken the steam out in their plans. Earlier they used to get hold of 60 orders an afternoon; now they get less than 15.

Omaira Qayoom and Beenish Bashir, who run a web store referred to as Craft World Kashmir too started the clampdown has thrown a spanner in their works. Omaira says their on-line orders from Bangalore, Delhi, Jammu, and Mumbai have almost stopped. They usually use Facebook and Instagram to marketplace their products and receive orders through social media and email.

Kashmiri Zaiqa, an internet Kashmiri meals keep that accepts orders thru its internet site and app, has misplaced 85% of its enterprise, says proprietor Mushtaq Ahmad. He gave the example of a recent order that became located from Pune and the food becomes to be introduced in Srinagar for a person’s birthday, however, they couldn’t even get admission to the details of the order.

Five years, 32 clampdowns
The Kingdom government, after first of all preventing 3G and 4G net services, determined to ban 22 social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, on April 26 so one can stop movement of films, such as some of the human rights violations, inside the wake of developing protests in colleges and universities across the kingdom towards the alleged violations.

The mobile net ban that followed rapidly after the social media ban became lifted on May 26, has crippled the kingdom’s alternate quarter
The mobile net ban that accompanied quickly after the social media ban was lifted on May 26, has crippled the kingdom’s trade region. The government enforced the ban as a “precautionary degree” — to check movement of inciteful content material — after the killing of militant commander Sabzar Ahmad Bhat in a stumble upon with protection forces in Tral.

According to Software Freedom Law Centre, a non-public business enterprise primarily based in New Delhi, the net has been banned 32 instances in Jammu & Kashmir for the reason that 2012. Even the United Nations has appealed to the Indian government to withdraw the ban.