Last week when Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik presented his six months report card while addressing the media, Malik was totally aghast with the media fraternity for portraying Jammu and Kashmir in a negative way.
Malik took many credits as state’s governor for many developmental initiatives. The biggest achievement he got to his credit was conducting of Panchayat and Urban local body polls in state after over a decade. The polls he held despite two major political parties National Conference and PDP refusing to participate while seeking assurance from GoI for not tinkering with Article 35A and 370.
Malik was here when he caught the media on wrong foot and accused it contributing to its negative publicity for corporate gains and ignoring the larger national interests. Malik said that no media house talked about the successful completion of elections in state which was challenge in itself. However every channel and newspaper waited to see if there is any untoward incident during these polls to highlight.
This is how they have been ruining the image of state. Malik confidently said that Jammu and Kashmir is a far better place then Utter Pradesh and Bihar. However the news room trials are more responsible for the deterioration of peace in state. Undeniably, Malik has spoken truth. One shall more blame on the selective media coverage of events unfolding in state.
Kashmir which has suffered the worst due to conflict of last three decades in place, some way managed to leave the past now and is ushering into peace and progress. This doesn’t mean the conflict is over; however it is scaled down drastically when compared its situation 10 or 15 years back.
Militancy is there, so do happen killings but media can predominantly find more stories to cover in its peace and progress that Kashmir steadily is ushering into since past few years. But ironically, the media still find its prosperity into the shrouds. While covering death and destruction for over three decades of intense conflict, the other side of Kashmir was never shown up by media.
We have ailing infrastructure in place; corruption is crossing all levels, misgovernance is damaging us collectively but who cares and reports. Still the deaths on either side or hate speeches can only fill the air space of prime time shows of news channels and the front pages of newspapers.
There is a massive need for reforms for these media outlets in the larger interests of country. To see a new dawn in Kashmir and to revive its past glory media has to play a critical role. It needs to give up its rhetoric of covering events always with negative publicity and focus more on the state’s developmental issues, its misgovernance and rampant corruption in public life.
We can’t push the people of border state to the wall where it can potentially burst and have serious repercussions. In this border region the external interference continue to happen and that may never stop. So amid such conditions the solution to the brewing problem is to own the people instead pushing them to the alienation. The present trend of media doesn’t only play spoilsport with an efforts of government to restore peace however, it also pushed Kashmiris to the wall. Time has come to introspect and play for long term dividends instead to look for shorter gains.