Doctors, psychologists, religious leaders sound alert
Say such apps leading to neural disorder, spoiling academic careers of addicted students
Amid the prevailing tumultuous situation in the Valley, the boys in the urban areas of the Valley are increasingly getting engrossed by the paid online games while girls are obsessing over online video creating and sharing applications.
The obsession of the young generation toward the online games and applications last week led to the Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) issuing a statement requesting the State government to ban PUBG, an online multiplayer battle game, in Jammu Kashmir.
The DAK went on to state that PUBG addiction was “worse” than drug addiction.
DAK President, Dr Suhail Naik says applications like ‘TikTok’ have an impact on the social and religious fabric of the society while the addiction aspect was less in comparison to PUBG like games.
He says he has been meeting parents who were seriously worried about their children stealing money from their accounts online to pay for certain games.
“Drug addiction does the same amount of damage to the youngsters as do these applications,” Dr Naik says. “The students who are playing these games have developed behavioural, sleep and psychiatric disturbances.”
He said PUBG game was acting as a future spoiler of the young generation.
“The game can deteriorate academic career of scores of addicted students,” Dr Naik said. “Citing conflict, turmoil and extreme harsh weather as a tendency to stick to mobile phones, the addiction to this game has become more concerning than addiction to drugs.”
Vice President Jamiat Ahli Hadith J&K, Mushtaq Ahmad Veeri, who has been critical of use of both the PUBG and TikTok applications, recently said young boys and girls were forced to steal money from different sources in order to pay for the internet charges of their phones.
“A girl recently was forced to seek deletion of her video on TikTok which had gone viral. These new things are being ingrained into the young generation as a part of the cultural and intellectual war,” Veeri said.
He said nowadays young men were resorting to stealing money to surf the internet.
“In villages, cattle are being stolen, shops are being looted because young boys require money,” Veeri said.
Shawkat Ahmad Shah, Head of the Department of Psychology, University of Kashmir said youngsters playing these games or using certain applications are usually in the age where they are “hyper” in psychological terms.
“They want to derive entertainment out of everything. They can’t judge the consequences of these things,” Shah said. “The parents and teachers need to play an important role in creating a balance among the online and real world activities of these people.”
He said recently a boy had been admitted at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIIMS) with a neural disorder.
“He couldn’t walk as he had been mainly idle for a year because of using his phone and computer,” he said.
Shah said the notion that a youngster develops better social contacts through these Internet-based applications was wrong.
“They perceive that person who is far away is their social contact. But in reality, that person is not even in their nearest social space,” Shah said. “The youngsters often tend to lose moral values online because they think nobody is controlling them online.”
Last week a group of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) Councillors met Governor Satya Pal Malik to seek a ban on the use of PUBG game in Srinagar.
Interestingly, a PUBG café has also come up in Rajbagh locality of Srinagar uptown.
Talking to Rising Kashmir, a group of PUBG playing youngsters said the online games along with PUBG were a normal affair for them.
“We play these games and even invest money. Many a time, we contribute as a group. We even place bets with other teams on winning,” the group said.