Building Peace through Internet and Communication
I still remember the time when voices in Kashmir were gagged in the consistent three summers of unrest during 2008, 2009 and 2010 in Kashmir. Local News Channels were banned and even SMS were barred. Every medium of communication was choked.
Restrictions like curfews would have helped government to stop the youth to some on the streets and vent their anger in the shape of non-violent protests but it certainly could not stop them from expressing their anger by using various internet pages like Facebook, Twitter, Orkut and YouTube.
What added to this commotion was when government agencies kept a vigil on the contents of Facebook and even many youth were booked under the Public Safety Act for instigating violence through their posts.
The streets were burning with angry protests over the civilian killings. The voices of the dissent were suppressed. There was no alternative other than web to get our voices heard.
After I joined World Pulse, I had been able to report some important aspect of Kashmir conflict in my Journal. I posted “Life in undeclared curfew” story and it was appreciated by both the readers of pulse as well as others who came to know of pulse through this write-up, calling it Heart-wrenching and inhuman situation to live in Kashmir.
My another piece on “My Curfew Diary” which I also posted on my Journal in which I tried to write about my experiences and how the undeclared clampdown took a heavy toll on different shades of life in Kashmir. The success of this piece was when people from different countries started to compare these situations with other conflict areas in order to draw some invisible lines in order to know the magnitude of the unrest in Kashmir. A friend from Nigeria wrote after reading my article wrote to me that his friend in Shimlah also wrote of her experience like mine and had told that her neighbours were begging her for small milk just to add to her baby’s milk in some due to some strike.
I believe that it could have never possible to connect to my fellow women in different parts of the world and tell them about the horrific tales of conflict in Kashmir. Pulse made it all possible without any cost and in just fraction of second, thereby cutting all barriers and borders.
The response I got from unknown people all over the world was overwhelming as they were ready to help us and also women from other conflict zones. I felt relieved and peaceful with the feeling that Yes we Kashmiris are not all alone battling for life. But there are people who have more gory conflict tales than ours. Pulse provided me a chance to debate and discusses the conflict to the outer world in the purview of the media gag and other restrictions. For me it is more than Empowerment. A medium for all those who had been able to contact their friends and relatives due to the conflict.