Kashmir Truth Be Told Blog
Yus neereth gassan, pheereth cha yevaano: morda che gassan zinde (Kashmiri saying)

3/30/09

Biased Indian media

I have very high regard for most Kashmiri reporters. I admire their courage to report honestly in such dangerous circumstances. I cannot even imagine the psychological anguish they must have to bear while visiting victims' families and having to sit down and write about it. They are in fact one of the pillars of Kashmiri brotherhood. I mentioned earlier that Kashmiris consider themselves a part of one big family; reporting by Kashmiri reporters is one good example of that. Only a fellow Kashmiri can feel the pain shared by their fellow citizens, and this is evident when we read about their reporting of events in Kashmir. This is also primarily the reason why the Indians ban the local media from reporting every once in a while.

Indian reporters on the other hand are still not mature enough to come out of their prejudices against the Kashmiri freedom movement. This is evident in some of their reporting, which are outright lies in some instances, and in some others, the reporters choose to be too vague in what they mean because they lack the courage to be forthright. It would be a travesty not to mention rare exceptions such as Arundhati Roy. She writes magnificently, and we can only wish that more Indian journalists show similar courage to report honestly. (Click here to read Arundhati Roy's article)

I exposed the blatant lies of PTI in one of my earlier posts while they were reporting about the inquiry of Bomai murders. Seems like the racist and communal minded reporters at PTI are hell bent on inventing facts as it suits the Indian propaganda machine rather than being true to the journalism profession. Everyone knows the person murdered by the CRPF in Khaigam recently was an innocent carpenter who had nothing to do with militancy. But not according to India's "trusted" news organization PTI. They declared he was a militant even before full details of the incident were known. This is what the PTI reported, "Man suspected to be militant killed in CRPF firing in J and K"According to the PTI, there were no reasons to doubt their trusted CRPF. No benefit of doubt to the innocent victim, and no reason to believe the eye witnesses in the village. For them, the press release of the CRPF is the undisputed truth - some investigative journalism this is!

Similarly, other Indian reporters, who project themselves as being unbiased and objective, still have their underlying prejudices against Kashmir and their writing exemplifies this. They are never critical of the criminal actions of their soldiers occupying Kashmir, and find ways to be ambiguous so as not to be overtly critical of their countries' Kashmir policy. For instance, Barkha Dutt recently wrote an opinion article for the fundamentalist Indian newspaper, the Hindustan Times, in which she tries to applaud the courage of Pakistani reporters who report fearlessly, sometimes at the peril of being physically harmed by either some hardline Pakistani religious groups or even the Pakistani government. While I agree the courage of Pakistani reporters is commendable, the irony is that Ms Dutt herself falls into the appeaser category when it is her turn to be critical of criminal actions of Indian soldiers. I guess it is easy to pontificate about Pakistani journalists by writing with an aura of false superiority, but her efforts would have been more worthwhile had she been more critical of Indian journalism practices instead of mere token mentioning of their inherent biases.

She attempts to have the moral high ground by mentioning that, "Our young colleagues in Jammu and Kashmir carry scars that are both emotional and physical". This lone and vague sentence alluding to Kashmir epitomizes Indian reporting of the Kashmir conflict because it perfectly illustrates how Indian reporters try to play it safe, when in fact, it is in Kashmir that their honesty is most required. It begs the question whether she is referring to Indian reporters stationed in Kashmir or the local Kashmiri reporters. She also tries to have her way both ways because she never alludes to who is responsible for those scars. She could have been more forthright and blamed the Indian forces who routinely beat up and harass Kashmiri journalists, but she chose to remain ambiguous, and hence the irony, because that is what her article was about. (Click here to read her article)

3/22/09

Accolades and laurels for what?

Seems like everyone's going out of their way in showering the newly relevant government of Kashmir with oratory garlands. It is not as if the Indian government presented Kashmir with a piece of the moon. Even though the developments of recent days, in which the army implicated three soldiers in the murder of Javed and Amin of Bomai is a step in the right direction, and would not have happened had Omar Abdullah not held his ground, I feel it is too early to come to the conclusion that this indictment and implication by a mere inquiry will transform into the murderers being brought before the court of law.

But if we were to compare Omar to previous heads of the Kashmir government, then certainly there is a marked difference from the past. Of all the previous Kashmir governments, the distinction of being a hallmark of notoriety lies with the Jagmohan government. Therefore, if I were to gauge the brutality of any government, I would compare it to that era. Clearly, in comparison to Jagmohan, the present government comes off with flying colors. The main reason that underpins my assessment is the stand Omar took in response to the killings, and pursued justice. But is that enough. Coming off with flying colors in comparison with Jagmohan is not a compliment. It`s like comparing someone with the meanest, ugliest creature and exclaiming, "you are better than that." Kashmiris deserve better. If the only good thing we can say is that a government does not condone brutality, I dont think that is something to be proud of, because brutalities are still taking place - the only difference is that the present government is not condoning it. 

The recent events in which the Indian government caved in and admitted that their soldiers murdered innocent Kashmiris only helped in bringing back the Kashmir government some relevance. What will turn things around is if the soldiers were infact brought before the courts and tried like any other criminals. As far as I know, the death penalty is still handed for murder, and these soldiers should not receive any special treatment. 

3/19/09

Dark clouds of death roll over Kashmir

Yet another innocent Kashmiri became the victim of Indian terror last night. Mohiuddin Malik, a carpenter, was murdered by soldiers of the Indian occupation force, CRPF, when they barged into his house and shot him dead at Khaigam, Pakharpoor. "He is survived by his wife and four minor children" reads the news story. (read the dreadful news here)

How can I even do justice to this story and truly express how I feel. How can anyone even fathom what the family of Mohiuddin must be feeling at this moment. How can anyone predict what miseries lay ahead for his widow and orphaned children. How the criminal acts of Indian soldiers turned their whole life upside down in a matter of a few minutes. How can we block emotions from overwhelming us knowing that his wife and kids will be crying themselves to sleep from now on and can never get an answer to why this had to happen to them. Thinking about this just tears you from the inside. Knowing that the murderers will go scott free just makes it that much more bitter to swallow. And the most atrocious fact is that perhaps a few days from now I will probably be here trying to express my sorrow for yet another innocent Kashmiri who will have become the target of some other criminal Indian soldier's ire in a different part of Kashmir. 

Are these unprovoked murders of innocent Kashmiris a payback for raising our voices against the Bomai Killings? Is it to provoke another wave of armed insurgency so the criminal Indian forces are not stripped of the AFSPA? 

Nobody has the answers. Why now? Why all of a sudden this renewed terror by the Indians? 

This story is very personal because my village is not very far from Khaigam. On our walk to Yusmarg, we used to pass through Khaigam. Many of my childhood friends are from Khaigam. I perhaps had personally known Mohiuddin.

I guess what this murder proves is that we all have to wait for our turns to become targets of Indian terrorist soldiers. 

I also will not be surprised that yet another inquiry will be called; a murder case will be filed against the personnel involved; a lot of lip service will be provided by politicians, and that's as far as it will go.

The murderers will never be punished. That is the fact of life in Kashmir.

3/16/09

Indian army mocks inquiry report

Shame on the biased Indian media 


The occupation forces showed their true colors today and inadvertently divulged the truth about all inquiries that have ever been called by the so-called government of Kashmir.

The following statement of the army has been reported by most dailies,"...the army’s Brigade command has informed the government that such an inquiry was not valid under the Army Act". Although this attitude of the occupation army does not surprise Kashmiris at all because we have known their colonial attitude all along. What is evident from this statement is that it exposes the fact that all previous inquiries were in fact shams. We have known this since the first Kashmiri fell prey to the bullets of the criminal Indian Army, and the first ever inquiry, that still has not been concluded, was called many decades ago. This statement just reinforces what we had known all along - that the inquiries are a mere lip service to pacify an agitated population. 

The present inquiry into the deaths of Javed and Amin of Bomai was an anomaly in the long list of inquiries because it was infact concluded and submitted within the promised time. Another big anomaly was that it implicated the army in this crime, which the occupation forces had not anticipated, and caught them off-guard. So the Indian occupation forces have improvised their approach and started to backpaddle.

The Army act!

Delayed reflexes of the occupiers  - that's how I characterize this latest antic. And because the inquiry officer, Baseer Ahmad Khan, did not succumb to Indian pressure to alter his report, and surprisingly Omar Abdullah is holding his ground, the Indian occupation forces have changed tactics and started feeding the media that they "will not participate in the inquiry". Too late for that. One thing about criminal minds is that their reflexes are usually slow. The world already knows that the Indian army officers testified before the inquiry officer and had even tried to pressurize him to alter the inquiry report in their favour. And now that the inquiry report has already been concluded and has indicted the Indian army, they want to give the impression that their officers never testified before the inquiry officer. But it is too late for that, unless they can destroy all news reports of February 26, 2009, when the commandants of that base camp testified before the commisioner, then their attempts to backpaddle are futile. (click here to read the news report of that day).

Now that things did not go as they had planned, they want to spin it the other way and invoke some "Army act" to discredit the inquiry report, which fortunately they will not succeed in because Kashmiris are a million times smarter then these petty criminal Indian officers.

Guess who bought this line of their newest nonsense? The biased, communal minded and illogical Indian media.

Here is what a reporter named Sumir Kaul reported for the Press Trust of India (PTI) "Army refuses to be part of govt probe into J&K killings"  was the headline, and this is how the story starts, "Army has refused to participate in the inquiry being conducted by the Jammu and Kashmir government...." (click here to read this biased reporting). It is very unlikely that a news organisation like PTI would be unaware that the army had already testified in the inquiry and that the inquiry has already been concluded and submitted to the government. The fact that they chose to report this story as though the inquiry was still ongoing, clearly exposes their bias and malicious intentions.

If people are not able to see through this mockery as a spin and an attempt to rewrite the outcome of the inquiry, then they need to pay a bit more attention. The Indian media is too biased  and blinded by their hatred against Kashmiris to have the ethics to report honestly.

Contrast the above biased reporting with how Greater Kashmir, a Kashmiri newspaper, accurately reported the same story:

Here is what GK reported, "ARMY ‘REJECTS’ BOMAI PROBE", was the headline, and this is how they developed the main part of the story, "The inquiry report is reported to have blamed the army personnel for not verifying the claims of their informers before shooting down the innocent civilians." (click here to read the full article)

I will leave it to the readers to decide for themselves whether they feel the Indian media is infact biased and unreliable.

Shame on Indian democracy and their biased media.

3/10/09

No justice - Now at least I know


Despotism


Definition [des-puh-tiz-uhm]


–noun
1. the exercise of absolute authority.
2. absolute power or control; tyranny.
3. an absolute or autocratic government.

The despots I am referring to are the Delhi masters of our ineffective administration here. What a waste of time in writing all those posts thinking the current government really had the intention and more importantly, the means and power to implement changes.

I am a very straightforward person and weigh most things with the evidence at hand. The current evidence that I have in regards to the events surrounding the murder of Javed Ahmad and Muhammad Amin is that the current administration called for an inquiry which was concluded ahead of the deadline, five days ago, and indicted the Indian army soldiers in that murder. Since that time, the original deadline came and passed with us not even knowing the names of the culprits, let alone any indications of them being brought to justice. There is absolute silence from Omar Abdullah regarding this matter even though he had promised "exemplary" punishment if the soldiers were indicted.

In reality though, those soldiers are probably enjoying life here at their base in an occupied school in Bomai, getting drunk every night and laughing and sharing stories of this conquest with their cohorts knowing very well no power in Kashmir can lay a hand on them; the paper-tiger that the Kashmir government has always been, with the real power residing in Delhi.

The inquiry report is not even worth the eleven pages it was written on. However, simply for the sake of curiosity, I am really interested to find out what "exemplary punishment" Omar Abdullah had in mind while trying to pacify Kashmiris.

I feel that the evidence clearly points to the fact that Omar Abdullah wanted the killers punished; therefore, I will not accuse him of being a cohort or insinuate that he is responsible for the deaths. At the same time, I have to emphasize that the facts prove what Mirwaiz Umer and other Hurriyat leaders have all along advised Kashmiris - that the Kashmir government is merely a "puppet regime", with the strings infact being pulled in Delhi. The events surrounding this inquiry proves this beyond any reasonable doubt. It is clear that Omar Abdullah wanted the soldiers punished; a majority of the members of the Assembly wanted them punished, and yet no action was taken against the Indian soldiers; therefore, any reasonable person will come to the conclusion that the Indian masters in Delhi did not approve of this action of Omar Abdullah and his administration had no choice but to comply with the orders from Delhi.

As a result, it makes no sense in me wasting my precious time in writing about a government which is incapable of taking action even though it agrees with what you are saying but comes up with an excuse that the "boss upstairs disagrees".

I have better things to write about. I would rather use the same time and energy in writing about strengthening the Hurriyat and other more important topics. The deaths in Sopur really affected my writing plans. People outside of Kashmir cannot even fathom how these attrocities by the Indian forces affect our lives. These crimes thwart our creativity. Our thinking is blinded by grief, sorrow, and anger. How are people supposed to sit down, have a clear chain of thought and jot down their ideas when their minds are preoccupied by thinking about survival techniques when encountering barbaric Indian soldiers. When we know that these criminals do not need a reason to shoot us dead, and when they do, they wont even get punished. Such are the thoughts that go through our minds, and therefore I can be forgiven if I decide not to write about other trivial things, and just concentrate on using my talent in exposing the brutality of the Indian occupation of Kashmir.

1 day for justice - Serfs and bank tellers


1


Day to Justice

I am sure most readers must be wondering why I am counting down the days even though it has been proven beyond a doubt that the current Kashmir government could literally be thought of as serfs of their lords in Delhi. By analogy, the present government can be considered as bank tellers, who are tasked with dealing with irate customers but have absolutely no say on setting bank policies.

I remember one of the commenters while back advising me that I am wasting my time because the current government doesn't even have the power to move a CRP bunker let alone arrest Indian army soldiers.

I have decided to stick to my imposed deadline because I am a man of my word, and will wait for one more day to see if the murderers are arrested. Failing which, this blog atleast, will give up on cooperating with the Omar Abdullah government on developmental issues.

3/9/09

2 days to justice - The snub


2


Days to Justice

Two days left and the killers are just as free as they were on the day they decided to snatch away two precious Kashmiri lives. The lack of power of the current government could not have been more conspicuous as it is now. It is clear that Omar Abdullah wanted to punish the murderers but looks like he got a taste of the colonial attitude of the occupation Indian forces first hand. The Indians would never charge their soldiers for the murder of two insignificant Kashmiri lives.

The snub for Omar Abdullah could not have been more embarrassing. However, India's colonial attitude has been known for a long time, and I hope it opened his eyes.

Some of his supporters had been pandering the "excellent relations" that Omar has with the so-called "central" government, and that we should therefore "lend him a helping hand" for developing Kashmir. I would like to respectfully ask what they have to say about this snub now, and whether they will keep touting the "excellent relations" that Omar has with the "Centre"?

3/8/09

3 days to justice - Case in point


3


Days to Justice

As we look forward to some action against the murderers, the incapacity of the current government was truly uncovered yesterday. When one of Omar Abdullah's ministers, Abdul Rahim Rather, was asked why the state government is not taking much more stringent action against the out of control Indian armed forces, who have killed six people in cold blood since the NC government assumed power, instead of calling for yet more inquiries, his answer was, "what more can we do".

Enough said, Mr. Rather. This one sentence eloquently characterizes the purpose and function of the current imposed government of Kashmir.

"What more can we do"

3/7/09

4 days to justice - Their thirst for blood


4


Days to Justice

There are still no visible efforts by the state government to arrest the Indian army troops who murdered Javed Ahmad and Muhammad Amin in Bomai; there are four more days for the deadline.

Yesterday, yet another young Kashmiri was shot dead for the crime of protesting peacefully. Another was crushed to death by CRPF personnel when they ran over him with their Jeep.

If anyone had the slightest doubt about the vested interests of Indian forces to keep Kashmir in turmoil, I hope those doubts are cleared with the recent actions of these ruthless Indian armed forces. Their thirst for the blood of innocent Kashmiris seems insatiable.

3/5/09

5 days to justice - Culprits still free


5


Days to Justice

The inquiry report is already out and the culprits who have been indicted are still free roaming the streets of Kashmir with loaded guns. No word yet on what action government is taking.

The state government promises to remove the Indian army from a school they have been occupying in Bomai, Sopur within twelve days.

6 days to justice - Inquiry is concluded


6


Days to Justice

Although there are reports that the inquiry officer has indicted the Indian army personnel in the murder of Javed Ahmad and Muhammad Amin, I will not be the one felicitating the government for this outcome until the guilty personnel are tried in a court for their crimes.

In the same breath I would like to commend the inquiry officer, Baseer Ahmad Khan for not succumbing to pressure by altering his report as the the army had pressured him to. His report is based on facts and for that Mr Baseer Khan has earned my highest respect.

While I appreciate the remarks of Omar Abdullah when he reiterated that the guilty will be given "exemplary punishment"; however, we are a bit wary of what he means. "Exemplary punishments" given by governments are usually dismissal, dishonourable discharge, forfeit of pay, or demotion. If the government is contemplating any of these in lieu of trying these army men for murder, then they can forget about gaining trust with Kashmiris ever again. I would suggest that Omar Abdullah leave it upto the courts what "exemplary punishment" these Indian army men deserve.

Let it be known very clearly that Kashmiris want nothing short of the murderers being tried in a court of law. Let the judge decide what punishment they deserve. This crime was committed on Kashmiri soil therefore these accused should stand trial in Kashmiri courts.

3/4/09

7 days to justice - Government acknowledges army occupation


7


Days to Justice

Government acknowledges army occupation of public buildings, schools and agriculture land. People of Bomai refuse to attend school unless army vacates the schools occupied by them.