How Mainland Media Has Created A Gulf Between The People From Kashmir And The Mainland

Mainland media only creates sensational negative news about Kashmir. They don’t talk about peace, progress, prosperity here

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The media of mainland India has never reported any positive change in Kashmir. The leading news channels always relate the word Kashmir only with terrorism. They display and read news only about terrorists and terrorism in Kashmir.
It has been never denied by anyone that terrorism of any kind won’t be tolerated. We are against the terrorism and the terror of whatever it may be. But it is quite agonizing that the mainland media always present the image of Kashmir as bleeding and burning.
Kashmiris mostly seen as terrorists, not as common citizens of India
The mainland media has been a main source for creating a gulf between the mainland people and the people of Kashmir. Every Kashmiri in the other parts of the country is being doubted. Every single Kashmiri is seen as a terrorist, not the common citizen of India.
This is why the people of mainland India do not trust Kashmiri people and always remain in a state of fear regarding any relationship or friendship with the people of Kashmir. They know only that which has been fed to them by the media.
The media has a responsibility to bring people together not to divide on communal basis. But the mainland has never been a bridge between the people of Kashmir and people from mainland india.
The Bhopal experience of my friend Nisar Ahmed of Anantnag
Recently, I met a friend Nisar Ahmed from Anantnag who had studied masters in Bhopal. He said to me that I had been in Bhopal for more than two years. He said that I always felt isolated there because I was always suspected not by my Hindu brothers only but by my Muslim brothers too.
Sometimes a Hindu brother approached me but Muslims never dared to come close. That time I felt that really we are not accepted by the Indians. I felt that perhaps it is correct that the Indians love only the land of Kashmir and not the Kashmiris.
Nisar further told me what I narrate now.
Time went on. Some students, especially girls, began to talk to me. I asked them, “What is the reason that the men don’t talk to me?” A girl from South Delhi responded that we have been warned by our parents not to be close with the students from Kashmir. I was shocked and asked her why so? She answered that our parents watch news about Kashmir. And from the news they conclude that all Kashmiris are terrorists and they are not peace loving. They also point out that every Kashmiri who is studying in different Universities of India are perhaps looking to cause some trouble. The girl told me that her parents suspected that probably most Kashmiris are out to cause some terror attacks. From her talk, it is quite understood how the lies peddled by the media houses impact the people of mainland India.
Friends from India usually have wrong notions about Kashmir
In October 2020, my two friends visited Kashmir for an event. As I received them at Srinagar Airport, they told me that it is quite normal here. I smiled and told them yes it is always like this. They rang home and told their parents that we are okay and the situation too in Kashmir is also normal.
They were anxious and fearful in the cab till they reached the hotel. On the way they told me that if the news was being telecast on our screens we should have been abducted as soon as we came out of the airport. Or perhaps we should have been killed after crossing the Humhama Chowk. But the atmosphere seems fine here, and it is actually enjoyable.
Interactions like these make me feel deeply sad about the wrong projection of the people of Kashmir in mainland India.
Journalists should revisit their stand, be aware of new realities
I know senior journalists from mainland India who used to visit Kashmir only at times of major agitations. They used to interact with people in Kashmir, and at that time people of Kashmir were in a state of deep radicalization. The people too spoke against the state. But it was just a moment and it passed on. It is understandable that at that time, these journalists used to broadcast what they had recorded. But the unfortunate part was that these journalists stuck to that same narrative. They never revised their understanding of Kashmir in line with the present reality.
The truth is that people have moved on
We know that there was huge disappointment and fear in Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370. But then the people of Kashmir moved on.
Everything became normal. People too forgot about the change and accepted the new realities.
In the mainland media, there is no acknowledgement of the peace and progress in Kashmir. For them, Kashmir is still all about terror only.
The mainland media does not acknowledge that there are no street protests and stone pelting now, which was a daily affair. Yes, people have grievances regarding infrastructure, power, regarding services in government hospitals, schools etc. We are part of a democracy and these are legitimate political grievances. It is not as if because of these grievances, people are against the state.
Now is a good time to record the truths of Kashmir. But mainland media will not do this because they are bothered only about their TRP. They are not bothered about what is in national interest, or what is against it.
A friend who is regarded as a noted analyst on Kashmir and is a staunch nationalist used to tell me that every time he was invited on the particularly rabid channels, he was told to raise his voice and shout against India just because he is a Kashmiri. This is so senseless.
Mainland media only creates sensational negative news about Kashmir. They don’t talk about the peace, progress and prosperity of Kashmir. It is obvious with the gun and force we can win over battles but not the hearts. Our brave soldiers are taking care of our borders and are protecting us from the terror operators. They are fulfilling this amazing role for our entire nation. It is the responsibility of the media of mainland India to bridge the gaps and ensure that we all have cordial relations with each other and are connected by nationhood and also by heart.

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