Srinagar, Dec 28: Government asking its employees to stay away from social media has triggered a debate across the state. The tech savy government officials have no other choice other than to fall in the line.
An official wishing anonymity said that the gag on government employees would prompt them to open the accounts on social networking sites with fake names. “We can expect many more fiery comments and discussions on social media with entirely changed names and profiles. Government officials spend more time on social networking sites than their offices. It’s impossible to keep them away from social media,” the official added.
An analyst said, “Stopping people from expressing their views tantamounts to snatching the freedom of speech. Anyway J&K government has decided to snatch it from their employees as they used to remain active on these networks. Discussions over small issues used to get dragged and at times used to end up in a bad taste.”
He said, “Some employees used to stretch a discussion beyond a point and used to even target their bosses. This has not gone well with the people at the top.”
Another official said, “It’s unfortunate that we have been asked to stay away from the social media. The decision has evoked criticism but the fact is that government employees themselves are responsible for this gag to some extent. They used to cross the lines. Many of us used to forget that we are a part of the same system which we are criticizing.”
He said, “A doctor from Jammu region for just making his presence felt took on the Chief Minister on the Twitter. Had he not posted the absurd comments government would not have acted. A government employee criticizing the Chief Minister is not acceptable.”
A Kashmir watcher said, “People who are a part of the system and are organs of the government should bear in mind that they are governed by certain set of rules and they are bound to follow these.”
He said, “Government employees cannot indulge in activism just for the sake of it. Writing big Facebook posts and passing ideas on the Twitter clearly indicates that these people are more interested in politics. On many occasions one could find employees fighting with each other over Jammu getting more privileges and Kashmir being left out or vice-versa. I hope that this new order would stop this nuisance.”
He said, “This gag order will backfire as it has annoyed the employees. They will change their names and operate in a coveted way and the people the top would have to keep on guessing who is who?”