Reflections | It's Hurting

Media needs to be sensitised about the use of terms
Screengrab from the CCTV Footage of the man who killed two people while injuring several in south Kashmir's Anantnag district.
Screengrab from the CCTV Footage of the man who killed two people while injuring several in south Kashmir's Anantnag district. Screengrab

Some days back, at  Aishmuqam, Pahalgam, a person killed some,  and injured many persons due to reasons unknown. it is unfortunate that many media channels and newspapers labelled the killer as person with mental or intellectual disability; even prominent newspaper used the unacceptable terms. The persons with disabilities are highly worried about the incident. Today so many parents having children with intellectual disabilities have been facing a kind of trauma that their dependents will kill people due to behavioural issues.           

I personally called the sub-divisional magistrate Pahalgam who said the person has well flourished business and had no mental disability issues; neither he has any certification from medical board. So if some one has related that the the person was with any mental issue, he has misinterpreted the things.           

We are sad that taboos and stereotypes always exist with us, but this episode has associated fear  with our sector. Persons with disabilities are not killers, but face challenges.           

Media fraternity should be highly sensitive while reporting such kind of issues. Honourable High Court has ordered in a case that terminology like mentally ill, unsound, and retarded cannot be used. it impacts the dignity of persons with intellectual disabilities.

Javed Ahmed Tak

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