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Saturday, July 16, 2016

Real story of Kashmir: Why 'national media' doesn't show reality of Kashmir

Kashmir [Jammu-Kashmir] is our 'Atoot Ang'--that's what we grew up, listening.

But from childhood, we have heard lies and fed with propaganda on Kashmir. We are not told the truth about Kashmir.

Probably, that's one of the reasons that the lies have given way to such hate, that when Kashmiris die, many people seem to revel and talk about 'score', as if 30 deaths is an achievement of the India or Army.

Kashmir is ours but Kashmiri is not. Kids grew up listening to propaganda that Kashmiris are anti-India, that they are never satisfied, that they enjoy special status, that they live off on Indian tax-payers' money and so on.

When generations imbibe this as truth, what happens? The result is that the pain of the Kashmiri doesn't affect you at all. When kids are dying in Kashmir, you don't feel anything.

On Facebook, in WhatsApp groups, on Twitter, in Drawing room conversations, you feel that the Kashmiri deserves the bullets and pellets and every second person seems to be baying for the blood of Kashmiris.

You want Kashmir, the territory, but you hate the Kashmiri. Strange.


The decade of eighties saw militancy peak in Jammu & Kashmir. It was the same period when Kashmiri Pandits had to leave the Valley--a sad chapter in the history of J&K.

It was also the era when BJP leaders, riding high on Ram Mandir movement, used Kashmir in their speeches to create the Hindu wave. DD was still the sole TV channel.

Poison was being spread in the society but Congress, which had mishandled Ram Temple-Babri Masjid dispute, remained mute spectator while hate and propaganda about Kashmir was being spread across North India.

TV channels came nearly a decade later. But by then, there was a generation that had grown up on the diet that made them see Kashmiris as enemy. What else was the reason that TV channels never showed the reality of Kashmir.

Unfortunately, Indian media has this dubious distinction of misinforming own people and teaching them how to hate your own country-men. This is a result of institutional misinformation and hate over decades.


For the BJP, Article 370 was just an electoral issue to polarise people. Its leaders talked of Ram Temple, Article 370 and Common Civil Code, as if they were the three magic words that would transform the country.

Today, BJP is again at the helm in the country, and also shares the power in J&K. But what about article 370? It's still there. In the name of Article 370, BJP leaders injected so much hate among an entire generation, that talking about Kashmir issue and the sufferings of ordinary Kashmiris, has become nearly impossible even among friends.

When BJP leaders were taking out 'yatras' and issuing war cries over Article 370, Congress leaders remained silent and seemed to have no clue how to deal with it. Jawaharlal Nehru was blamed for Kashmir crisis but unfortunately Congress seemed to have no idea how to counter-attack or clarify its position.

Political class, media kept mum over 'permit needed to enter North Eastern States

Neither politicians, nor media, bothered to report from the ground and tell Indians that how Kashmir had been mishandled, how Kashmiris were living, what they suffered, what they expected and the reality of the special status on the ground.

While outsiders can't buy land in Kashmir, it is not something unique to J&K. Outsiders can't buy land in parts of North East, in many hill stations, regions inhabited by indigenous people.

Further, while anyone can go to Kashmir, most Indians can't even enter several North Eastern states. A permit [inner line permit] is needed to enter these states. Why BJP never raised these issues or talked about integration?

So no voice was ever raised about Article 371, as it pertains to Nagalnad, which is too far. And, because there wasn't enough scope to polarise and gain voters in heartland by raking up the issue. 

Nothing works more than a Hindu-Muslim angle. Our intelligentsia, entire political class also failed. BJP managed to convince majority of people in North India, at least, the urban Hindu, that Kashmiris were pampered....