It Is Time To Take Charge Of Our Present, Our Future

by WebDesk
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Faizal Aziz
The ordeal of the girl in the Nadeem Nadu blackmailing and extortion case is enough to alarm any civilized  socie
It is assuring that JK Police have formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT)

for thorough investigation of the charges leveled by the woman. The woman has told the police that she was forced by Nadu to also have sex with his friends including journalists and officers.

It was saddening to hear from a senior officer of the Directorate of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) that many local newspapers did not give coverage to the news regarding the arrest of self proclaimed journalist Nadeem Ahmed Ganie @Nadeem Nadu in the rape, blackmailing and extortion case.

This is not unique to Kashmir. In other parts of the country too, the journalist fraternity tends to “protect its own” and often tends to suppress any negative news against a journalist.

Is this fair? Does this help the society? The entire journalist fraternity of the Valley needs to introspect on this.

On October 3, Kashmir Reader carried a report on Page 1, splashed across the top columns of the newspaper. The report alluded to the secret, shady business regarding the issuing of government advertisements to newspapers.

Double Dealing To Serve Separatist Agenda

Those familiar with the media in Kashmir are aware that where secret and shady functioning is concerned, the media in Kashmir has a lot to answer for. One aspect of our shady functioning has come out in the open in the recent years. That is the double dealing of many of our media houses were engaged in over the decades. Many of them were merrily serving Pakistan and strengthening the separatist agenda to build large personal fortunes. For decades, their inflammatory content provoked our vulnerable local youth to take to arms against the state, leaving their parents alone, wailing and without support in old age.

Poor Treatment Of Journalists By Many Media Houses

he poor treatment of the journalists working in many established media houses is hidden from none in the media circles in the Valley. While these ‘reputed and established’ media houses collected huge advertisements from the government, they paid paltry salary to their staff. Many of these media houses never paid their employees above the minimum wages. Most of their employees were denied the benefit of Provident Fund.

The pattern of employment for many of these newspapers was equally shady and murky. We know of newspapers in Kashmir who gave their employees the identity card and no salary. The employees were told to earn what they could at district level – whether by coercion or extortion. The deal with this – ‘local level pe jo kamai kar sakte ho kar lo’.

This is not just the case for Kashmir. Media dealings have been equally murky in Jammu and also in many other parts of the country.

Faux Cries Of Attack On Media Freedom
If this be the real picture, why do some of our old and established media houses always claim the lofty position of ‘holier than thou’? Any questioning by the government has always been labeled as an attack on the freedom of the press in Kashmir.

Things have come to such a pass that when a local journalist was caught with grenades, the media fraternity rushed to label the police action as wrong. The journalist was caught red-handed, but the whole sequence was again labeled as a draconian move of the state against the freedom of the media.

Journalists from other parts of the country were rallied to speak out against the man arrested for being part of a terror network.

Any questioning by the government into the dubious reporting by Kashmir Walla was again labeled as a sustained and vicious attack on the freedom of the media. The clique that peddles this agenda even managed to get MP Shashi Tharoor, who is now running for the post of Congress president, to grandly hold forth in the Parliament over the supposed assaults on the freedom of the press.

Our Youth Were Led Astray, The Media Watched

All through this, the mainstream media of the Valley took a light view of all acts of terror by our misled youth. The media continued to give comfortable space to the separatists to befool our gullible youth and lead them astray. The media turned a blind eye as Pakistan strengthened its strategic assets in Kashmir and decimated our peaceful and happy culture of inclusiveness and co-existence.

But what is bygone is bygone. One cannot turn back the clock. The damage that was done during those years cannot be undone. Media persons can even take the plea that they acted the way they did because they were scared of the gun-wielding terrorists.

Collective Responsibility

But times have changed. We all are aware that we do not want our children to grow up in the same atmosphere of terror and gloom in which we grew up. We want our children to flourish. We want them to pursue happy careers and prosper. We want to break free of the conflict imposed upon us by Pakistan and deepened by weak-kneed men who danced to tunes from Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

Life is determined by the choices that we make. We are aware that we have the choice to lead happy lives and give our children the bright tomorrows that they deserve in our beloved valley.

Kashmir has lived under the shadow of death for too long. It is time to move into the exuberance of life. It is time to reclaim our heritage and our culture, it is time to make our economy robust. Our lives had been held to ransom by Pakistan’s vicious blueprint for Kashmir. It is time to reclaim our happiness and zest for life.

All societies have black sheep like Nadeem Nadu. He is not unique to Kashmir. Globally, societies define themselves by the way they treat their women and children. It is for us to protect the vulnerable sections of our society and give them space to bloom and blossom. It is for us to take our economy on the road to progress and prosperity. All this will happen if we collectively take responsibility for our present and our future. The media reflects the society that it is part of. Let us resolve that this reflection shall always be clear and bright.

BLURB

Life is determined by the choices that we make. We are aware that we have the choice to lead happy lives and give our children the bright todays and tomorrows that they deserve in our beloved valley.

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