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Journalism in Kashmir

Journalism in Kashmir
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Ground Report | New Delhi: India is a land where infinite dreams live, where few of them get fulfilled while many are broken midway while being chased. With dreams in their eyes and pain in their heart, writers grow each day side by side with their thoughts and ideas. They too live, an intricate yet content life. A life where zero’s in their salary values less than the number of words flowing in their mind. The talent of writing is not always god-gifted, some achieve it by their dedication and hard work. Yes, this is normal for Indian writers excluding the one’s living in Kashmir.

They are totally different than how others perceive them. Dreams don’t break in Kashmir because there are eyes with pellets that are unable to see the outer world. For sure, they too write, but blood flows in their pen regardless of ink. Their tears are a bit salty than any other writer. It is contaminated with the bitterness of oppression. They exhale the same, but they inhale the air of tornado surrounding them every now and then. They are a little weak like dandelions, afraid of the human hands that crush them. Yet they always learn to bloom in the gardens of happiness.

Journalism faces a tough challenge in Kashmir

Yes, they live under an apprehension, where PSA suppresses their voices and bullets hit them during coverage stories. Being a writer in Kashmir needs a lot of courage, especially when you express something that is labelled as “Anti-national” by the Indian Government. Indian Institute of legal studies has often brought into consideration the “Freedom Of Expression” which states that:

Article 19(1) (a) of the Indian Constitution says that all citizens have the right to freedom of speech and expression. Freedom of Speech and expression means the right to express one’s own convictions and opinions freely by words of mouth, writing, printing, pictures, or any other mode. It thus includes the expression of one’s idea through any communicable medium or visible representation, such as gesture, signs, and the like.

Well, this article exists nowhere when it comes to freedom of expression in Kashmir. The irony on the part of the government is that they not only book people under PSA for writing and expressing their emotions against India but the people of this place are even sentenced to imprisonment for writing about other nations as well. Isn’t it quite hilarious? For instance take into account the recent incidents that took place when Kashmir’s graffiti artist, scholars, and several other writers were booked under PSA for supporting Palestine. Sarjan Barkati, Mudasir Gul, and 21 others were detained under the “Anti-Israel issue”. Thus reflecting the heights of cruelty and oppression on parts of the Indian bureaucrats. Logically speaking, Indian writers have far more freedom than Kashmiri writers. The words of these people are caged sometimes by censorship and sometimes by implementing PSA.

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कश्मीर के पत्रकारों के लिए पत्रकारिता जिंदगी और मौत का मामला है

Governments’ interference in media and journalism obstructs the pathway to honest and sincere freedom of expression. Well talking of “Freedom of Press” is like beating the dead horse before the Government. They are so freaking hell that they arrested the media personals, by claiming false accusations on them. It included members from leading dailies like Greater Kashmir, Kashmir Narrator, Kashmir Observer, Kashmir Reader. Moreover, one of the popular online news portal “The Kashmir Walla” editors were also summoned. Aasif Sultan, a notable Kashmiri journalist was arrested on August 27, 2018, and thus be completed 2years and 10 days in jail for “ performing his duty ”.

The abysmal state of Journalism & Law in India

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The police claimed Aasif was harbouring militants at his residence. It’s a matter of shame and disgust for all the Indian forces and judicial system that these claims are all baseless and fake. It doesn’t end here. The worst things for writers are still there. Their emails are disabled, their words are edited, their thoughts are paralyzed, yet they survive these all things and attempt to write. But their writings are prohibited to read. Here goes my one poem, dedicated to the same:

She belongs from a heavenly vale,
Where bullets are forced to enter,
Choking their bodies lifeless & pale,
Landing their corpse at dark centre.
Blooming on the merciless thorns,
With scars and frozen wounds,
Hitting pellets at new-born s,
And mother’s getting swooned.
Don’t feel pity on their noble soul,
For they have patience to bear,
Playing secretly their gallant role,
By destroying the enemy’s fear.
Today she is living in deep exile,
For the poetess in her is dead,
Still urging her to walk a mile,
And write poems that can’t be read.

The author is an engineering student and she can be reached at (kkhaz0007@gmail.com)

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