There has been a lot of staged and fake uproar created by politicians like former Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti’ who sent a request letter to the Press Council of India (PCI), raising doubts on freedom of speech of the journalists in Kashmir. Consequently, the PCI swung into swift action and sent a fact-finding committee to Kashmir to uncover the purported alleged atrocities that were meted out to the journalists in Kashmir.
However, the pertinent question to answer is – “Was the investigation and fact-finding carried out by the PCI delegation a sham and bogus one or, did they try to unearth the hard truths?” Well, the same can be answered by bringing to light the following aspects.
The PCI team deliberately did not highlight the reasons for the arrests of some of the journalists wherein they raised a lot of hue and cry around the arrests done by the Police who flawlessly followed all the law-and-order provisions. They also very shrewdly brushed the fact under the carpet that some honest journalists were also provided police protection and government accommodation as they were the ones who uncovered the truth of human rights violations and terrorism by Pakistani elements in Kashmir. ALSO READ: The Game Plan Of Terror In Kashmir
These journalists are always under constant threat to life from the anti-national elements as some of the so-called intellectuals from the journalist’s fraternity target these honest journalists for their brave honest work.
I was able to successfully bring to the notice of the PCI delegation while meeting them in Srinagar that they should get into the details of the case wherein a journalist from CNS Kashmir was arrested with live grenades in the vicinity of the “Press Colony” in Srinagar by security forces. I also urged them to meet the police officers who had exposed the modus operandi run by Kashmir Fight WordPress Blog in which some journalists and social media influencers played a vicious role as they used to publish the names of journalists and civil society members on the blog while identifying them as a potential target for terrorists. However, one of the members from the delegation clearly expressed displeasure in meeting the police and vividly stated that they were there to investigate the accusations leveled by Mehbooba Mufti in her letter to the PCI.
What stands out as a stark displacement of priorities to me is that the PCI team was inclined to investigate based on some misinformation and distorted facts however, they did not want to meet the real heroes on the ground who worked valiantly to uncover the truth. This delegation paid no heed towards understanding the selective and compromised journalism carried out by some who never highlighted the atrocities faced by the common man.
They ignored the stoic silence of the press on the merciless killing of an innocent Indian laborer, a Gol Gappa wala, security forces personnel, members of the minority community, and political activists by Pakistani-backed terrorists.
However, these same people report vehemently, highlighting the grief of people from the debris of the house which would have been demolished by security forces as they were terror hubs or terror hideouts.
Therefore, it can be substantially concluded that the visit of PCI’s delegation to Kashmir was driven by the notion to drive a pre-decided agenda of crying wolf on the global platform that freedom of the press was curbed or threatened in Kashmir. However, one needs to understand the harsh ground reality where a particular section of journalists has maligned the noble profession by driving the pro-Pakistan sentiments while enjoying financial benefits by dint of being comfortably placed on the ISI payroll. These journalists have been instrumental in radicalizing the youth while vitiating their supple minds with the thought of terrorism and “jihad” which caused them to take up the route of guns and violence while sacrificing the mainstream of progress, education, etc.
It is this marred propaganda promoted by the journalists that impaired the sane thinking of the youth, that drives me towards terming them as murderers as they have fueled terror-backed killings executed by the youth in Kashmir.
(Emaad Makhdoomi is a Columnist and Founder of The Trailblazers Research Foundation)
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