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Talktime

Can’t Shirk That Call Anymore

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If what a religious group in Kashmir has done is any precedent, then telecom companies might be in for a bonanza.

The Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith, perhaps the largest Muslim religious group in Jammu & Kashmir, has decided to connect its 1.5 million members in the state or about 20 per cent of the state’s Muslim population. To facilitate this, it has tied up with Reliance Telecommunications for providing corporate mobile connections to its members.

In the first phase, the Jamiat has applied for 20,000 connections, of which 5,000 have already been provided.

“If we are satisfied with the tie-up, the number of connections would go in lakhs,” says its chief Maulana Showkat.

The Jamiat’s teachings essentially go against ‘shrine worship’, seen as common in J&K among Muslims (under the cover of ‘khidmat’). The group, which supports the separatist movement, also run 750 mosques and several schools across the state.