What is the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, one year after it was declared to be a Union Territory?

5th August 2019 saw a major change in the status of Jammu and Kashmir. Government of India, under the Prime Ministership of Narendra Modi, scraped Article 370 that was affective in Jammu and Kashmir. In other words, the identity of Jammu and Kashmir as a state was revoked and reinstated as a Union Territory of India under the Centre.

What may have been a good political move caused a lot of trouble for the citizens of the valley. Jammu and Kashmir have been the centre of a dispute between the two neighbouring countries for a long and this move by the Government were to ensure a strong foothold over the northernmost state of our country.

But a lot of problems ensued due to the move. From raging unemployment to 2G internet, the union territory is suffering from a hundred and one problems.

365 days later the condition has not improved much.

Aadil Nazir Khan, a resident of Tangmarg, Baramulla, Jammu and Kashmir remarked about the condition, “Exactly a year ago, curbs were imposed in the valley. The special status of the state, given under Article 370 was scrapped and a new tomorrow was promised. Today, exactly after a year of that consequential day, restrictions have been reintroduced – what do you think has changed?”

How has 2G internet connection adversely affected the youth of the valley?

The raging pandemic has forced the IT sectors and private sectors to close down or impose work from home. Young employees have travelled back to their homes and are working from home. But the young individuals from Jammu and Kashmir do not have the luxury. Even the employees who have returned to their homes are unable to do their office work because 2G network which is a laughable network in 2020.

An individual, named Suhail who is a Noida based IT engineer talks about his problem with the internet and how that is adversely affecting his career and job.

“I tried downloading a 250 MB file which was necessary for me to work from home. Guess what, I tried it for the entire night and failed. My internet speed is 45kbps. Can you even think of working with this speed? I cannot even share my screen during office meetings.”

How is mental health of people in the valley affected by the situation?

The raging pandemic has cost our mental health a huge blow. In such a situation, a huge escape to people is online shows and entertainment. This is a luxury that people from our northernmost state cannot even imagine with the poor internet connection. According to a survey in 2015, 45% population of the state is suffering from mental distress. Over 41% of citizens showed signs of depression. A though evoking question is how adversely is the pandemic affecting these already distressed and tired people.

Education is lagging behind

While the whole country has more or less begun their education online, for the people of this union territory it is a distant opportunity. Children are missing classes, and due to a lot of chaos that takes place due to India Pakistan clash, they are already lagging behind. University students who returned home due to pandemic cannot keep up with the online classes and online examinations.

Unemployment in Jammu and Kashmir.

Kashmir’s economy incurred 40,000 crore losses and a job loss of 5 lakhs last year. This year the situation is obviously worse due to pandemic and people, especially youth is in constant fear of losing jobs.

The Global Investors Summit that was announced by the government after the declaration on 5th August 2019 has not yet taken place and will probably be even more delayed thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.

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