The policy of cherry picking
Events demand attention according to merit, not choice. But what happens on the ground is reverse
The impact of media, both print and electronic, is revolutionary. Every sphere of the human activity bears testimony to its penetrating effect. We become all we read and watch. It was because of this great influence that recently Supreme Court of India took suo motuo note of media reports of pilgrimage deaths allegedly due to lack of proper facilities and medical care of them. Sensitive to the media campaign the learned judges of the Apex Court asked the JK government to finish construction of roads and widening of the passage to Amarnath cave before snowfall.
A loss of ninety six pilgrims en route in traversing excruciatingly a difficult terrain, a significant number of whom are old aged and easily vulnerable to the vagaries of harsh weather, is not that all unexpected. It is not to say that we should be frigid to human loss. Human life is precious and inviolable. And everything must be done to facilitate the pilgrimage of Hindu devotees to the holy cave. But is was the sustained campaign of the Manovadees commanding and controlling the news channels which prompted a torrent of incendiary comments and reports about the deaths of the Amarnath Yatrees that even forced the judiciary to raise hackles of displeasure. Compare it with the deaths of nearly 150 Indian Muslim pilgrims to Makkah this year (out of total of one lakh pilgrims), we witness a dead silence all over. No one has hauled the Saudi government on coal, as every one is taking such brushes with death as faint accompli.
Indian media is always in habit of cherry picking events relating to Kashmir. The brazen disregard it shows towards the human rights and values has, time and again, exposed its double standard which virtually blindfolded the Indians from the happenings in Kashmir. Leave apart, for the time being, the issue of accession and plebiscite Indian leadership pledged to the people of Kashmir, the non-controversial matters relating to the state, purely human in content are not either reported at all, or if reported are distorted. Here the screams of kindergarten babies, mauled by dogs , do not appear on the radar of news channels. There a small child falls in a well and it is covered live 24x7. Only three months before nearly nine hundred children died due to negligence of doctors and mismanagement of the hospital authorities at G.B Panth hospital Srinagar. A human catastrophe of this nature would have virtually shaken the conscience of the people in India. But even at this hour of enormous grief of Kashmiris are sniffed as anti-national, leave alone, expressing solidarity with them.
` Hold on. 96 deaths en route Amarnath-more due to nature’s fury, less man made-draws apex court to intervene. It's good to show concern for human life. But why nine hundred deaths put a shroud of indifference on all? The only reason as far as we understand, is that India media swoons people in fantasies about ground-realities in Kashmir. In a triumph of lies, even the saner section of the society finds it difficult to distinguish real from the illusion and sift the credible from the propaganda. And when other side of the picture completely gets blurred or black, one has only to show pity for people in India. How scrupulously honest one might be in his profession, human weakness sets limits. Judges are not angles. They too get swayed or, at least, affected what is beamed from the powerful opinion-moulding institutions. With no forceful tool at our disposal to neutralize the Goebbelian untruth, the rulings have to go in synch with “collective conscience of Indian nation”. And mind it the coalition of establishment and the media ensures that people in India have to be atrophied of facts regarding Kashmir.
The people of Kashmir are aghast on the colonial approach of the NHPC and its exploitation of water resources. Kashmir Civil society demand the transfer and control of the resources. Several commissions appointed by New Delhi in their findings have supported these genuine demands. But all along the authorities in Delhi have slept over these demands. Salal and Uri were recommended by Rangarajan Commission to be handed over to Jammu and Kashmir . But stiff necked NHPC refused point-blank. A large number of unmanned graves were discovered by the state government appointed Human Rights Commission and it urged DNA testing. Now the state government, in contrary to its earlier stand, says that random collection of DNA from graves would be “an academic exercise”. The latest sweeping changes in the Right to Information Act are bound to make the state Information Commission toothless. All such issues would have met a hair-splitting debate in the Indian media. And I am afraid both Delhi and Srinagar would have been forced to have a rethink all these issues. But the biased Indian media prefers to ignore Kashmir. In doing so it nourishes alienation. And strengthens the constituency of what it calls ‘extremist’ forces.
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Lastupdate on : Thu, 13 Sep 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 13 Sep 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 14 Sep 2012 00:00:00 IST
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