I have never been a fan of the slavish neo-liberal mentality embodied by the economic wing of the present indian government. It’s reached a new low this past week when in a fit of paranoia, the home minister(and ex-finance minister) announced the ban on the use of prepaid mobile phones in all of Kashmir. that means existing numbers go blank, once their recharges run out and any new phone connection has to be tied to a service provider with monthly bills.
if there is any logic behind this(and i cannot see any) is completely and utterly ridiculous, as someone intending to be a ‘terrorist’ or ‘militant’ could just as well obtain a pre-paid SIM card from the next state over, charge it up and use it on roaming as well, and would not lack in funds to do such a thing. this is not to mention that the cost of a regularly-billed connection would also be insignificant for someone who is determined.
All this stupidity does is highlight the severely regressive approach that this government has taken to combat violent outbursts against the indian state. It has only one response to any problem, and that seems to be more violence. needless to say, all this would do is to inflame tensions even more, and will probably win no fans in the already beleaguered state of Jammu & Kashmir either.
Till the government decides that it is in the nation’s interest to address the causes of the various forms of violent extremism that pop-up in this nation for which it provides a fertile soil, it will continue to be a case of violent, citizen-killing whack-a-mole.
And it’s disgusting.