Milking Politics from Tragedies

Twisting and distorting facts, plain and simple, and build a narrative of their own has remained a mission Indian media has doggedly pursued in Kashmir. Throwing to winds cannons of justice and profe...

Twisting and distorting facts, plain and simple, and build a narrative of their own has remained a mission Indian media has doggedly pursued in Kashmir. Throwing to winds cannons of justice and professional ethics it has always looked Kashmir from the prism of  perverted  logic. Blindly intoxicated as it is to camouflage  ground realities and defend indefensible it has raised huge iron curtains meant  to swoon Indians in ignorance and feed them on fibs and canard.  And all this it does strutting 'national interests' fig-leaf.
 But in tragedies like the one Kashmir was recently struck with humanness of its own lay barriers beyond which a rabid communalist and stupefying  nationalist will feel ashamed in milking politics from tragedies.  But then Shylocks like species would have still been weaseling in  their  graves.  They  will rest in peace now. Their legacy  has been kept intact  by their loyalists. 
 Their  no-holds barred eulogy for Indian army notwithstanding, it is obligatory on any government, in light of Geneva Convention, –not to speak of a state  singing 'internal part' rhetoric—to protect people and provide them  help when needed.  To come to the rescue of local people  and respond to the natural disaster is the primary duty of the army to fulfill.  Thus Indian army carrying "rescue operation' in the latest flood fury has not done any favor to us. Duty is not thanks premised that until you come groveling in gratitude it cannot be performed. You do it because you have to do it.  
 But whatever rescue efforts the army did were muddied  because of the shameless squalid efforts from the Indian news channels that were focused more to reclaim the alienation of Kashmiris through cruel exploitation of their  helplessness  than to show genuine concern and sensitivity to their pathetic plight. As if there were no  human  life but a carcass lying under  their  grabbing claws  and tearing jaws  the hungry news hounds tried to derive maximum pleasure out of this human tragedy. Sniffing and salivating they flew to the marooned valley to  weave a  story  of their choice around the unfolding situation.  They  thought  Kashmiris  are ninnies  unable to fathom their intentions. Portraying tragedy to evoke human sympathy and immediate  response is not that bad  but filming helplessness as a part of a PR exercise  with smudged motives is most reprehensible . Embedded in army choppers and rubber boats the contingent of reporters made it a point to extract the political price from a person looking desperately for a helping hand.  A hungry haggard  shriveled  from  many days ordeal  was forced  to pay the debt of saluting the army before he was delivered  a food packet and a water bottle  (GK, 18 Sept ). As if this sort of  gratification extracted  out of misery and slough  was  not  enough, the media houses in Delhi perched atop their sadistic pleasure in showing Kashmiri youth throwing stones on Indian forces. The  gall they wanted to vomit out was all streaming  down the streets in Srinagar.
  Indian media invariably focused on rescue efforts  mounted by army to the exclusion of heroic dare-devil  voluntary  humanism of our youth.  But as valley is beginning to pop out of the deluge and trapped people tell  their tales of survival, world wakes up to know of their real saviors, their heroes, their messiahs. While news reporters from Delhi went abroad in exaggerating the valor halo  of the army, it was,  in fact, our brave local volunteers who swirled  around  in makeshift  boats and  rescued  90 percent  people from their submerged lagoons at the risk of their lives. The innovations put in use by our local heroes like hollow drums, foam rolls, GI sheets,  tyre  tubes, half-cut syntax tanks and ropes for rowing trapped to safer places, in true sense, proved the Noah's Ark. While governments from Delhi to Srinagar sank in callous indifference it was concerted community efforts of opening  langars, medical shops,  relief and rescue measures,  and that too without any communal bias,  that retrieved  situation from getting worse. A non–Muslim family sheltered in a local mosque and the lady in labor pang was provided all medical help to deliver a baby ' Kiran'. The Masjid committee not only bore the hospital charges but sent  them home paying  for plane tickets  as well.  Ask Ajay Kumar Shukla stranded with his family at Yatri Niwas  Lal Chowk Srinagar. "Had local Muslims not provided me food", says the orthodox Hindu from outside state, "we would have died of starvation". But none from the local rescuers asked him raise his hands in salute before provided help. And they did not indulge  in selective safety operation. 
  During the killer flood waves nearly 400 patients, attendants and resident doctors got  trapped in the premier SMHS hospital as gushing water entered second floor. Dr  Aadil, President Resident  Doctors Association remembers the nightmare in these words: 'On Monday morning a chopper hovering over the hospital building brought some hope. But joy was short  lived. It came and flew  towards the backside of hospital. We came to know latter that the rescue was meant for CRPF troopers from nearby camp ( GK, 22 Sept ). In the same report another medico mentions of a boat manned by men in uniform which passes by them, assured  help but didn't return. The report also describes their desperate attempts to seek the  attention  of the choppers hovering in the area .  They pulled apart some tin sheets of the roof and waved pieces of red cloth from rooftops towards the planes but there was no response. There are other examples of selective approach that put Q marks on professionalism of forces personnel.     
Despite heavy human toll and a trillion loss to economy,  the valley, in particular our pride city Srinagar, will rise again from the unprecedented devastation, unfortunately for the Indian media and the drawbar, however,  the  Kashmir mainstream cushions which they wanted weaken are destined to stay there. The alienation will go further, with additional levers and  substantive  reasoning.

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