Media Summit discusses portrayal of Kashmir in Indian media

India won’t give freedom to Kashmir: Nayar

IRFAN RASHID

SRINAGAR:

Kashmiris should understand India would not give freedom to Kashmir, veteran journalist, author and peace activist Kuldip Nayar said here Saturday.
Addressing a two-day Srinagar Media Summit, which was organized by an NGO Lehar at SKICC, Nayar said, “Kashmiris should understand India would not give freedom to Kashmir.”
Illustrating his point, Nayar during the interaction said, Pakistan Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharief had told him, “Neither can you give us Kashmir nor will we give you. So let’s only have a discussion.”
Nayar said one solution would be that India and Pakistan should give autonomy to the region holding on to Defense and Foreign Affairs.
“Kashmir is an integral part of India and there can be no compromise on Indian democracy and secularism,” he said, adding, “The real Kashmir practices Sufism which has its roots in moral values but people’s attitudes are changing slowly.”
In a first of its kind, Srinagar Media Summit held on Saturday at SKICC discussed portrayal of Kashmir in Indian media.
The keynote address was given by noted writer-cum-journalist, Kuldip Nayar whose talk received a lot of reaction from the audience.
He said, “For 3.5 crore Kashmiris, we Indians can’t hurt majority Indian. We Indians will fight for secularism but Pakistan also should do same. India will save secularism from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.”
Shahid Sidiqi, a prominent journalist talked about problems with a section of media.
He said: “There is a section of Indian media which can even lead the country to war with Pakistan. Media many times don’t understand Kashmir and many times don’t want to understand it.”
About coverage of Indian media in Kashmir, he said: “It is not only you who think media is not doing justice with your society but every section in India society. Media always speaks half truth.”
Deepika Rajawat, a Kashmiri Pandit and a lawyer by profession said: “Journalism is no good in Kashmir. Journalist should be bold and say whatever the truth is, as they have responsibilities.”
Jain Goshan, editor of ABP group said: “We shouldn’t accuse somebody without evidence. Value free facts are impossible. Journalists have become media executives and editors have become media mangers.”
KG Suresh, senior editor Doordarshan Delhi said: “Superficial coverage is in whole Indian media because research is not encouraged due to breaking news syndrome.”
Shakeel Qalandar, a social activist said: “Case of rape by defense personnel can’t be lodged in civil court. Although Justice Verma Committee recommended it should be but Indian media overcame that saying ‘kashmiri loog jhoot bolte hai’.”
He added that there have been 2,000 debates on 219 Kashmiri Pandits killing but not once on one lakh Muslim killings.
Nidhi Kulwati, reporter with NDTV said:”Such is the condition that when I came here during elections to talk with youth, they refused saying that we will show them as stone pelters.”
Jalali, PCI President said: “Arnab Goswami is not a journalist but TV star.”
He also questioned funding of Kashmir newspapers.
“Did any one investigate funding of Kashmir papers?” he said.
Saeed Naqvi, an eminent journalist said: “Where secularism leads us we all know now. Muslims in Delhi can’t even get rooms on rent.”
Saba Naqvi, political editor with Outlook magazine said: “Indian media is selective not only in Kashmir but in entire India.”
Journalist Rana Ayub said: “Such is the condition of Indian media that a 14-year-old boy in Sopore was branded a terrorist, when I investigated, I found him just a kid.”
Gowhar Geelani, roving editor of Rising Kashmir said: “The problem is not about the coverage, but about the language that is being employed to criminalise a legitimate political opinion and aspiration of Kashmiris. There are attempts to distort facts and report Kashmir from a security prism, etc.”
He said, “During the anti-India protest demonstration of 2010, as many as 120 persons, mostly boys in their teens, were killed and sections of Indian media chose to describe those killed as stone-pelters; not human beings or teenagers. During the devastating floods of 2014, worst in Kashmir’s recent memory, one million Kashmiris were rendered homeless, but sections of Indian media instead of reporting colossal humanitarian crisis chose to do PR for army men to present them as saviours, when many of them stand accused of war crimes in Kashmir. Similarly, two boys were killed by army in November 2014 in Budgam while travelling in a Maruti car and one Indian newspaper reported that two ‘terrorists’ were killed.”
“When Outlook carried a survey in 1995 they found that 72% here want independence. There are no takers of Indian secularism in Kashmir where we know about Babri Masjid incident, Gujarat riots. If two men wave IS flags, it is debate for Indian media and there was no debate for 8000 disappearances and mass graves. After reading AS Dulat, it is clear that Delhi installs chief minister here,” Gowhar said.
Madhu Kishwar , a professor by profession  tried to raise questions about separatists accusing them of buying land in Indian posh cities, which received serious reactions from the audience.
Author Humra Qureshi said: “Even I can be raped by army men here as there is no accountability. They is free under AFSPA.”
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