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)