Neither it was world earth day, nor there were any nimbo stratus or cumulo nimbus clouds, but still the Kashmir valley witnessed a dark evening on Wednesday, 20th July. The lights suddenly went off, in view of the blackout call given by the pro freedom camp. As the time passed the night appeared to be dressed more like a nightmare and the national news channels continued to daydream. They failed to focus their lenses to cover this unique protest, which in no way is a matter of surprise because they even fail to capture the civilian killings that take place in broad day lights.
The blackout of the news pertaining to sufferings of Kashmiris is common, but this time it was “Blackout of the Blackout”. It is very disgusting to watch some journalists playing role of jingoists, their cameras are by default set to zoom in the stone thrown by a protestor and zoom out the bullets & pellets thrown by the government forces. The nature of human beings is to vent of the anger through various means. Many times, even members of legislative assembly throw chairs & tables at each other, had there been stones, they too would opt for stone pelting. On 8 April, 1929 Bhagat Singh & his companions threw a bomb in central legislative assembly, so as to attract attention of all those who had closed their eyes and ears, they also threw leaflets saying that “bombs are needed to let the deaf hear”.
Unfortunately in this part of the world, it rains bullets & pellets when alienated people throw a small pebble to protest against the snatching of their rights. The national media leaves no stone unturned to portray the stones as nukes and bullets as water cannons. Instead of experimenting on ways of biasing & doping the news, time is ripe for them to read the writing on the wall. The current scenario reflects that the people have liberated themselves from the silence born out of fear and have become resilient to the humiliation which the apparently colonial structure produces.
Amidst such circumstances the orthodox measures in the form of filtering down the information, black outing & placing the shield of employment over the emotions of people will not work and sooner than later their genuine demands need to be supported audaciously. Earlier governments in India had done away with 1301 obsolete laws over 64 years & the current regime has broken records of past governments by repealing 1159 such laws in just two years, it is therefore the duty of all sections of media to also press for repealing the obsolete draconian laws like armed forces special powers act prevailing in the valley, because acts like such give forces unrestricted and unaccounted power. Revocation of this act along with other affirmative confidence building measures will alternatively pave way for the beginning of a sustainable & productive dialogue between all the stakeholders of Kashmir imbroglio.
The author is a freelance Researcher & writes on Kashmir Conflict.He has also served as a research investigator for a project on Schedule Tribes. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org