Through the Lens: Life and Politics in Asia | Society | South Asia

Kashmiris’ Desperate Quest for Internet Access

The internet has been partially restored in Kashmir after six months of misery.

About 8 million people of Kashmir were without access to the internet since August 5 of last year, when the Indian government unilaterally revoked Article 370 of the constitution, scrapping the region’s autonomy. The people of Kashmir could gain access to the internet by traveling to the highway township of Banihal, about 110 kilometers from Srinagar. However, train service to Banihal was not functioning either until November 17. Once train service resumed, Kashmiris began flocking to the town, only to face numerous difficulties in their quest for internet service.

On January 25, the Indian government restored 2G internet on mobile phones, but that’s not helping much, locals say. This video documents the trouble-filled journeys of young Kashmiris to Banihal and the guarded optimism that followed the restoration of 2G internet.