Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Indian Media Biased, International Media Ignorant

This refers to the role of mainstream politicians in the recently concluded land transfer controversy. Gauging public mood and with an eye on elections, they showed resentment and even the Deputy CM said, “Now it is not the question of land transfer only, it has become fight of Kashmir vs. India.” Recently when Tibetans held demonstrations whole international media highlighted their activities and many countries sympathized with them. Kashmir witnessed massive protests with many youth fighting pitched battles with troops and police, and hundreds and thousands of people participating in rallies against land transfer. But apart from local newspapers and channels that are doing commendable job under difficult situations, no one from international media gave space to the protests carried out by the people. International news channels like BBC, CNN, Al-Jazeera etc show programmes on conflict regions from across the world. And particularly on Al-Jazeera we have programmes like Inside Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan etc but why not programmes like Inside Kashmir? We have no hope from Indian media (print or electronic) which is completely biased while reporting about Kashmir. When some elements with nefarious motives pelted stones on a yatra bus,

the national newspapers of India hogged headlines like, “yatries attacked in Kashmir”. And when people arranged food for them, there was no mention of it. There are many organisations working on diplomatic front and organising international conferences on Kashmir in various countries, and recently a faction of JKLF held demonstration at Brussels, ‘If Kosovo why not Kashmir?’ It should be appreciated but still there is lack of interest among international community and no country is coming forward and openly supporting us. Are Kashmiris children of lesser God? Don’t we deserve any attention from the international media? Perhaps this part of the world is a forgotten land. The spontaneous reaction of people on the illegal land transfer belied myths that people are tired of freedom struggle and now want ‘peace’. Out of nowhere the whole movement was revived and the spirit of people infused fresh blood in it. What is needed is to sustain this and prevent it from appearing as communal as some people with sinister designs are hell bent to project it like that. Besides revoking of land transfer, Kashmiris want KP’s to take control of this yatra. Government met protesters in Kashmir with iron hands and many people got killed and hundreds were injured. But why no action was taken against the VHP rally and protesters who defied law and were given arms training in full public view by the VHP? Besides, the protesters were also provided with sharp edged weapons by the VHP. Have Kashmiris exclusive rights on Indian bullets? Perhaps, people are not tired of the struggle, but they have got tired of India’s arrogance.