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Think before you speak
1/21/2020 12:03:59 AM
NITI Aayog member, V K Saraswat, by justifying internet ban in Jammu and Kashmir has stirred the hornet’s nest. His statement that people in Kashmir don’t do anything on the internet other than “watching dirty films” has created a furore.
Although Saraswat apologized for his statement but his apology couldn’t stop the criticism and condemnations.
His remarks shocked everyone in Jammu and Kashmir. People were unable to believe that the member of the planning commission can issue such a brazen statement.
The NITI Aayog member, whom only a few people knew till Saturday, has become famous overnight.
The Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) and Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) issued separate statements to condemn Saraswat’s remarks. Both the chambers reminded the NITI Aayog member that J&K’s business fraternity has suffered immense losses since August 5, 2019, when the Government of India (GoI) announced its decision to abrogate J&K’s special status and divided it into two union territories.
The internet in Kashmir on all platforms has remained suspended since August 5. The 2G services were restored in Kupwara and Bandipora districts in north Kashmir just 2-days ago while in other districts these services continue to remain blocked. Similarly in Jammu mobile internet was snapped on the same day but the 2G services were restored in all the districts just few days ago. These services have been restored with a rider that people can only access the white listed websites. The internet during the past few years has emerged as the biggest tool for the businessmen to transact business. This vital tool had been snatched from the traders for the past five months. Just restoring 2G services in Jammu won’t prove to be of any big help to business fraternity as the online transactions need high speed internet. Saraswat should go through the records of online business transactions, which took place in Jammu region prior to August 5, he will get an idea what people used to do on the internet. Not many people were impressed by his unmindful utterance that internet in Kashmir was only used for “watching dirty films.”
He did realize that he committed a mistake by making such a statement but he was unable to do any damage control by even apologizing for it. This episode should serve as a lesson to the people who hold important positions in our county. They should think hundred times before they speak. Two words spoken by them “out of context” can embarrass the entire nation.
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