Gowhar Farooq

#KashmirFloods: Communication in the Times of Deluge


In second week of September, when floods created havoc in Kashmir, thousands outside the Valley wanted to know whereabouts of their dear ones – family, friends and acquaintances. However, there was no way to communicate. With no communication network and no access, there was no news about the majority of the Valley. Concerned, a group of Kashmiris in Delhi and many well-wishers decided to meet at Nehru Place in South Delhi. Meanwhile, back in the Valley, a few of those whose cellphones were still functional, were working 24×7, receiving calls from all over the world from concerned people…

Social Media Research Workshop, October 11, 2014


Since March this year, seven short term research fellows have been involved with The Sarai Programme and carried out various studies on digital and social media. On Saturday, October 11, we are organising a research sharing workshop for the fellows to present and discuss their works with a selected group of discussants.

Revolution YouTube


Azaan Javaid, now a journalist, was a student in 2008. With a handicam at home, Azaan began recording videos of protests along with his cousin, who had recently come from the US. It was his cousin’s idea that these videos be uploaded on YouTube. The duo started one of the earliest YouTube channels from Kashmir regarding the protests. And, as these videos spread, the confidence of the protesters grew. At the same time, a few ‘communities’ had sprung up in the Google-owned Orkut. Facebook was still not very popular…

Alternative Media: An Agent and of Change in Kashmir


In conflicts like one in Kashmir, news and information gets buried due to the pressure from conflicting parties, collusion of the news sources with the various agencies or simply because of the lack of will to explore. With the social media, the chances of the burial of the information reduce…

Aims and Faces behind Kashmir’s Alternative Media


The saying, “In war, truth is the first casualty,” holds true to Kashmir. There are multiple versions of a single event and there is no absolute truth. Also, being a disputed conflict zone, there is limited space for freedom of speech and freedom to express ideas. Thus the rise of alternative media is significant. Hence, it is important to reveal the story behind its rise and the story of people who gave birth to it and what they aim. It is important to put into perspective why these activists chose this path.

Short Term Research Projects in Social Media: Selected Proposals


The Call for Proposals for the Short Term Research Projects in Social and Digital Media attracted over 80 applications from all over the country, and it took a careful scrutiny of all the applications to reach our decision. We got applications from scholars as well as practitioners, young researchers and older, and proposals looked at a wide range of themes. Please take a look at the excerpts from selected proposals for this year’s Short Term Research Projects in Social Media.