SRINAGAR: The government decision to restrict the employees on social media is drawing criticism from all quarters. According to the KNB monitoring desk the order of the social media gag for Government employees was issued hours after a heated debate on Facebook between Senior PDP leader Naeem Akthar and a Government Employee who works in a local hospital.
Senior face of the government and PWD Minister Naeem Akthar in his Facebook tried to take to task a government employee when he commented on his post that Muftis and Sheikhs have been responsible for Kashmir mess to which the minister commented back -“For someone serving the patients in a Government hospital your FB profile is interesting.”
After just few hours the Government gag came that restricted the 4.8 lac employees freedom on social media. The move is drawing widespread condemnation and outrages both from the mainstream and separatist leaders.
“Ordering gags and threatening punishment to State employees for expressing their opinion on social media completely exposes the aversion to truth or its disclosure by the occupational regime and its unscrupulous local agents!The charade of“normalcy”in #Kashmir will continue to be maintained by silencing people through bullets,jails,gags and bans,” tweets Hurriyat (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
“The dictatorial order suppressing use of social media by government employees resembles to that of North Korea. Fraud politicians who ones used to make hue and cry on human rights violations and who propagated healing touch and battle of ideas, have by their undemocratic orders turned Kashmir into a military dictatorship where every voice of dissent is being suppressed by military might,” stated JKLF Chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik in a statement.
Rejecting social media gag on Govt. employees, MLA Langate Sheikh Abdul Rashid said that the move is an attack on fundamental rights of speech and expression, adding, making government employees accountable is always a welcome move but nobody can deny the fact the Govt. employees are also part of the society and sons of the soil.
Advocate Yasir Dalaal while talking to Kashmir News Bureau stated – “The highandedness of the government to curtail the social media activities is really shameful and as you are awaring me that a senior minister of the state had got into heated debate with a govt employee and gag came just after few hours is really going to new lows .The higher authorities should show tolerance to the criticism and not go out of control. If someone is Govt employee he deserves to comment on every issue and present his dissent.”
Mushtaq ul Haq Sikandar, a government teacher and an activist while talking to KNB said – “The order of the government curbing our freedom of speech is an onslaught on democracy. It is a bizarre 16-page order titled “Social Media Usage Policy for Government Employees” issued by the state’s general administration department on Tuesday, which invokes new ‘guidelines’ having been made into law by Governor NN Vohra, specifying how over we the more than 4.8 lakh government employees in the state must behave on social media. This is clear violation of democracy and killing freedom of speech.”
Pertinently, majority of employees surveyed felt that social media are helping them to find new jobs quickly and efficiently, according to HR services firm Ma Foi Randstad.
82 percent of Indian employees are extremely confident on using thesocial media such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to enable them to find a new job quicker and more efficiently,” Ma Foi Randstad had stated.
It is worth pointing out here that Social network sites (SNSs) are increasingly attracting the attention of academic and industry researchers intrigued by their affordances and reach.
Undoubtedly, although having few negatives as well but on holistic levels the phenomenon of Social Networking is proving to be a great boon for the people of Kashmir. (KNB)