Sheikh Mudasir Hussain
For years now, I have observed a strange tendency in Kashmir. The positive initiatives of the government are not spoken about or highlighted.
The government keeps coming out with welfare initiatives for the youth, children, for the aged, for women and other vulnerable groups. But the media does not give any space to these initiatives. The social media cells of the political parties keep criticizing every government move. The political parties keep planting doubts in the minds of the people regarding every government initiative.
NC, PDP and other political parties of Kashmir are vocal and loud about their anti-government agenda. They keep pushing their agenda at the people.
Constant Criticism Builds Negativity, Suspicion
Political parties don’t realize that this constant attack builds negativity among the people. They start looking at every initiative with suspicion. People develop a negative bias towards all the efforts of the state. This negatively impacts the trust bond between the government and the people. People don’t come forward and they are not able to benefit from government schemes the way they should.
It is the constant effort of the government to bridge the gap with the people. But this gap does not get filled. In the name of freedom of expression, we have given space to the media to run their own agendas. This negativity makes the youth of Kashmir feel justified in indulging in anti-state behaviour. In extreme cases, they pick up the gun. This impacts national security.
The grassroots public opinion does not get space in the media. The political parties do not really highlight the day-today demands and issues of the people. They run a narrative which is not reflective of public opinion.
Why is public opinion important? When the government gets to know public opinion, it is able to formulate the policies and welfare initiatives accordingly. These policy decisions impact development initiatives and programs.
The Media Did Not Counter Mehbooba Mufti’s Rant
There are so many other good initiatives that are never counted. But if anything goes wrong or has a negative tilt, everybody pursues it. The recent rant by Mehbooba Mufti – everybody gave her space. The media can ignore her. They can also counter her. But nobody countered her.
When the media creates only negativity all the time, people get confused. They don’t’ believe in anything. Is ka ground level par bohot nuksan hai. Now negativity has seeped deep. People are doubtful about everything. Har cheez ko shaq ki nigah se dekhte hain.
I used to feel sad about this state of affairs. I believe that media must highlight the positive initiatives of the government. Why should we be part of the problem? We shall be part of the solution.
The media must speak about all these positive initiatives so that people are aware of all the facilities that have made their life better. In the next edition onwards, we shall make this difference Insha’Allah.
DC Baramulla Interacts With People Even After Office Hours To Resolve Issues
We never see positive reporting on the government schemes. The government has a scheme where assistance of Rs 50,000 is given to poor girls at the time of their marriage. Nobody profiles those poor girls – how they were helped. The government has schemes for farmers, for labour. Nobody talks about how farmers and other classes are benefited by government schemes.
Let me share a local example. The DC of Baramulla Dr Syed Sehrish Asgar often goes to the local markets to engage with people, listen to their issues in the evening hours after work. She addresses their problems, resolves them. This is so new for all of us. But the media does not highlight this. They highlight only the negative.