Utility is window to the world

The effect of this flow between different realities became very clear for Bawa when the state of emergency was called in Kashmir and the Indian government decided to shut down Internet completely.

In December 2001, following the attack on the Parliament in New Delhi, the Indian government decided to shut down Internet in Kashmir because apparently, the attackers were from Kashmir and they had sent emails to each other. This happened before Bawa first visited Kashmir. When she went there in March 2002, the Internet was still shut down, cyber cafes were operating surreptitiously and this was a great source of agitation for youngsters.

How citizens witness the state and the state witnesses its citizens through these technologies shapes the relationship that the citizen has with the state and that the state has with its citizens. Therefore online platforms etcetera are part of that witnessing and judging in a certain way. The Internet has become one of the mediating spaces of the relationship of the citizen with space and when the governments shutting of that avenue, it aggravate citizens more Bawa found. Where the state treats Internet as a medium, for citizens it is actually a utility, and above all a space, a window to the world one really needs in times of hardship.