Md. Arif Ahmad for BeyondHeadlines
It’s been more than a month that Afzal Guru was hanged, but still Kashmir is burning. There are clashes taking place every day in different areas of Kashmir. These are either clashes between militants and security forces or People and security forces. In both the ways common people are suffering and political parties are busy with their own blame game as always.
From the day Afzal Guru was hanged till date Kashmir is suffering from curfews and strikes and in between this, people are suffering especially whose livelihood is based upon daily earnings and are totally dependent on their everyday work e.g. Daily Wage Laborers, Vegetable vendors etc.
But in all of this, it is very poignant in fact surprising to see national mainstream media eliminating this chapter from the camera. They have closed the chapter just after two days of hanging. It is just not a revolt against this particular issue but is a collection of thousand more assassinations that has been taking place in Kashmir under the trademark of terrorism.
Why our mainstream media cameras has chosen one angle to show the picture, what about the other angle which is people’s perspective. However what is happening in Kashmir at the moment has just become marginal for our media. It seems they have also decided to embargo issues of Kashmir very similar as the so called largest democratic state, India.
None of the media tried to investigate this issue or show the factual depiction of Kashmir rather than becoming the jury. Nobody tried to turn up to Kashmir and convey the voice of Kashmiris in front of India.
The Kashmir has been burning after the incident but all which was shown on camera were the statements of our incredibly patriotic politicians expressing their gladness on hanging up of Afzal Guru and suddenly within two days that news too vanished from mainstream media.
It was very appalling to see that this media profession too has become picky in regard to locations. May be conflicts have become less saleable. It seems like the only place to protest in India is Jantar Mantar and if you protest anywhere else your place of protest will be sent under military siege especially if it is Kashmir. If you will protest at Jantar Mantar then your protest will get coverage, else who will work so hard to reach Kashmir, we have other saleable issues in Delhi.
We are living in a country where media is considered the most powerful weapon or let’s say voice of commoners, but the fact is turning out to be something else. Media has been so commercialized that they are more willing and committed to portray things which are more saleable.
There is this question that I keep asking myself that, Is this Kashmir issue too light to be taken like this? Or our mass media has chosen to represent things which are marketable? Or is it following the state to avoid issues which are perilous to intervene? Or the government is pushing media on back benches? I don’t know when I will get these answers but I will definitely keep wondering for it. Dear mainstream media please do something; People have started losing faith in you.
(Author is a social activist, working in Kashmir)