Kind, caring and hospitable Kashmir

But see how we are being portrayed to the world outside

Hassan Zainagiree
Srinagar, Publish Date: Dec 6 2018 11:03PM | Updated Date: Dec 6 2018 11:03PM
Kind, caring and hospitable KashmirGK Photo

There is so much negative publicity about Kashmir that even for  an enterprising daring soul it  would be  hard to muddle through. The malicious defamation creates a stereotype. They are ‘fundamentalists’, they harbor ‘terrorist’ tendencies’, they are ‘intolerant’. They are immersed in ‘crude conservative passions’. There you cannot enjoy anything save shutter downs and sloganeering. It is stones and bricks, not laptops and pens that young people there are fawned at. The people there are seduced in ‘anti-national activities’.

When people are dwarfed and vilified with such ferocity, when reality on the ground is castrated under the cross-hairs of hegemonic hubris, when opium-injected news are beamed through  every whirling particle in the space, when not on the merits but on the rating rants studios sell their products,  when lies are manufactured as an industry, how can an outsider have a daunting urge to have a romance with ‘the bride full of blushes’( that Thomas More once compared our capital city Srinagar with)?

If one, purged off his mind purity –thanks to media propaganda-- still embarks on the terrain of his obstinacy, imagine the soul-shattering apprehensions, the spectacle of the forbidden tree. From every blade of grass he would  sight a frightening snake stalking on him. The innocuous invitation from a Kashmiri associated with a travel agency he would sniff as a decoy to entrap. Against the fare complexion from us, he would read many dark shades of ‘terrorism’.

This is not I am writing a fiction. It is the power of media that demonizes a community and creates fear. That can burrow through even gene matrix and evolve it into a new creation of his likes. Chantella Flores, a young lady from South Africa,  was nursing these kind of fitful thoughts before she stepped on the tarmac of  Srinagar airport. It was a different Kashmir, far from what was projected through news channels—some of which won’t feel relieved unless energized in Kashmir bashing. An internationally-acclaimed photographer and recipient of Canon South Africa award for inspiring women, Flores stayed in Kashmir for three weeks and ‘didn’t face any problems’. In her own country, she has been—as she says—victim of ‘gun culture’ on more than one occasion. Against sense of feeling insecure in her native country, where, as she says, women like her ‘ don’t walk in the streets, because it is so unsafe’, she walked through the streets in the Srinagar’s old town (Shehr-e-Khas), without any fear. The intricate and ornate architecture of the buildings impressed her. The breath-taking landscape of Dal lake and Mughal gardens and handful of ‘prideful image’ in the close ambience with nature, she was overwhelmed with. But it was the ‘kind, caring and hospitable’ people that made her ‘ feel at home’.  She could not believe that after what she was fed with by the reports about Kashmir, she would believe that there are such ‘highly educated’ youth, speaking ‘ fluent’ English and brimming with ‘high ambitions for future’. After travelling to 57 countries, the warm welcome, love and generosity of Kashmiris Flores—who is a regular contributor to ‘The National Geographics Your Shot’—acknowledges that it was rare of the rarest things to be in company with people of Kashmir. ‘I felt I had arrived at home’, she bows in salute to the hospitability of Kashmiris (Arif Shafi Wani, GK,  December 4, 2018).

It is daring people like Chantella Flores who, notwithstanding all such fears that media conjured up into her, ventured to visit Kashmir and have an honest appreciation of the situation and people derided by the savagery media plays in name of freedom of expression. Had  Flores allowed herself to be mislead by  narrative of lies in relation to Kashmir coverage, not only she would have ended in being quite ignorant of what actual is happening in Kashmir and its people are stereotyped, the rust (of ignorance) in her would have deepened with every coming day. And who knows how far off the virus of disinformation and denunciation would have reached from her. After all it is a chain reaction. The lies and distortions go on multiplying. It is good the chain broke at her. And she provided/proved a chink in the armor of the nefarious propaganda aimed to smear Kashmir and its people in jaundiced mirrors. But how many stumble at the truth curtained behind iron walls. Very little. Many  are consumed by the negative coverage of Kashmir. Still those who rise to the occasion and show courage in slamming through the Goblin version of happening, are not allowed to enter Kashmir. Not only this, even documentaries and movies that present somewhat a dissenting view against the government’s propaganda blitzkrieg are censured or its directors and producers forced to give up in never-ending circles of attendance. ‘ No Fathers in Kashmir’, a latest Kashmir centric movie by Ashwin is battling for survival. He was forced to lament: ‘ We have become a country which does not want to hear the truth. We want to hear the cacophony from prime time news channels, which is a sad part. When self-correction is not happening, somebody has to come forward and do his bit in telling the truth’ (GK, November 23, 2018).

Anyways, truth always prevails and has the knack to penetrate through all barriers of lies. In one bit in truth- telling Himalyan lies finally have to melt. That is historical and universal truth.        

Latest News

  1. Omar questions PM Modi's 'silence' over violence against Kashmiris
  2. Omar questions PM Modi's 'silence' over violence against Kashmiris
  1. JK Bank announces new dates for probationary officer and banking associate exams
  2. JK Bank announces new dates for probationary officer and banking associate exams
  1. ICPS establishes help desk for abandoned, unwanted babies at Lal Ded hospital
  2. ICPS establishes help desk for abandoned, unwanted babies at Lal Ded hospital
  1. Winter vacations in Kashmir colleges extended up to Feb 22
  2. Winter vacations in Kashmir colleges extended up to Feb 22
  1. Two Kashmiri shawl vendors attacked on train: Police
  2. Two Kashmiri shawl vendors attacked on train: Police
  1. NIA registers case in Pulwama attack case
  2. NIA registers case in Pulwama attack case
  1. Shutdown called in Chenab Valley tomorrow against Jammu arson
  2. Shutdown called in Chenab Valley tomorrow against Jammu arson
  1. Khurshid Shah to hold additional charge of secretary PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control and DMRRR
  2. Khurshid Shah to hold additional charge of secretary PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control and DMRRR
  1. Missing Kashmir girl traced in Jammu after five days: Police
  2. Missing Kashmir girl traced in Jammu after five days: Police
  1. Jammu and Kashmir govt orders second reshuffle in administration in two days; check list here
  2. Jammu and Kashmir govt orders second reshuffle in administration in two days; check list here
  1. NIA releases money seized from Srinagar businessman in 2017
  2. NIA releases money seized from Srinagar businessman in 2017
  1. Pakistani prisoner allegedly murdered in Jaipur central jail
  2. Pakistani prisoner allegedly murdered in Jaipur central jail
  1. Kashmiris will always uphold their tradition of ensuring safety to outsiders at all costs: Mirwaiz
  2. Kashmiris will always uphold their tradition of ensuring safety to outsiders at all costs: Mirwaiz
  1. Pakistan government spokesperson's personal Twitter account suspended
  2. Pakistan government spokesperson's personal Twitter account suspended
  1. Agra hotels put up notice: ‘Kashmiris not allowed to stay’
  2. Agra hotels put up notice: ‘Kashmiris not allowed to stay’
  1. PDP delegation visits Uttarakhand, says 'satisfied' over safety of Kashmiri students
  2. PDP delegation visits Uttarakhand, says 'satisfied' over safety of Kashmiri students
  1. Mob accosts, beats up Kashmir shawl trader in West Bengal
  2. Mob accosts, beats up Kashmir shawl trader in West Bengal
  1. Seven Kashmiri students suspended by pvt university in Uttarakhand for social media posts
  2. Seven Kashmiri students suspended by pvt university in Uttarakhand for social media posts
  1. Curfew relaxed in entire Jammu city
  2. Curfew relaxed in entire Jammu city
  1. In purported audio clip, Hizb chief Riyaz Naikoo warns of more Pulwama like attacks in Kashmir
  2. In purported audio clip, Hizb chief Riyaz Naikoo warns of more Pulwama like attacks in Kashmir
  1. SC holds Anil Ambani, others guilty of contempt; says 3 months jail if dues not paid to Ericsson
  2. SC holds Anil Ambani, others guilty of contempt; says 3 months jail if dues not paid to Ericsson
  1. Kejriwal asks PM Modi to grant full statehood to Delhi
  2. Kejriwal asks PM Modi to grant full statehood to Delhi
  1. Ex village head in Maharashtra held for 'objectionable' remarks on Pulwama attack
  2. Ex village head in Maharashtra held for 'objectionable' remarks on Pulwama attack
  1. UN asks for escorts for military observers in Kashmir after Pakistan flag incident
  2. UN asks for escorts for military observers in Kashmir after Pakistan flag incident
  1. Secretary PHE Farooq Shah opts for voluntary retirement
  2. Secretary PHE Farooq Shah opts for voluntary retirement
  1. Pulwama attack: UN urges India, Pakistan to defuse tensions
  2. Pulwama attack: UN urges India, Pakistan to defuse tensions
  1. Curfew relaxed in Jammu district for three hours
  2. Curfew relaxed in Jammu district for three hours
  1. Landslides halt traffic on Srinagar-Jammu highway
  2. Landslides halt traffic on Srinagar-Jammu highway
x
This site uses cookies to deliver our services and to show you relevant news and ads. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Service.That's Fine