The trial.

The general public comes to know about the daily issues mainly through the media. The UN human rights committee has recognized that the media plays a significant role in a democratic society. It is the duty of the media to inculcate within the masses with values and beliefs that shall integrate societies.

But in India, everything goes downhill. A new era of media reporting has been ushered in. Media in India has no longer remained an objective and impartial entity which otherwise must provide truthful and objective information to the people, that shall help the masses in forming rational opinions which is sine qua non in a democracy. Rather, huge caches of biased and flawed presentations are routinely aimed at the masses. It is mainly because the levers of power are in the hands of state. The media is monopolistically being controlled and often adjuncted by malicious censorship against those who don’t confirm to their vitriolic propaganda. The daily taming of the mainstream media across India is happening under everyone’s nose. Media in today’s India is clearly serving the state, not the nation, and the dominant elite.

It is in persuarance of the ruling party’s agenda, India is these days witnessing a steady flow of radical nationalists on media channels which confirms the fact that at the moment India is witnessing a cunning but sturdy method of providing experts who say what establishment wants said. Not only this, but the quality coverage has also been designed to score political points. For example, not considering the kind of coverage given to the Kashmir conflict, in the present ongoing farmers agitation 6 farmers were killed during the protests which are blamed on police and CRPF by the farmers but the media channels have already absolved the state machinery from this crime, obviously by citing the official sources.

In a healthy democracy, and not in a farce one, the official sources are overcome or weakened by the highly revered unofficial sources that give dissident views. But this problem has already been cunningly tackled by the Indian media channels by adopting experts, whose reasoning capacity echoes between the two walls of red cheeks and Dalali.

The dissident opinion is being repressed viciously. The media has worn the jingoistic robe which has made them the opinion spindoctors. They do so by taking a set of assumptions supported by the so called experts which reflect their basic idea of the propaganda model and then they feed the people a wide range of debates within that Kafkaesque framework. The framework also includes insults and ridicule for the non-conformists on live shows. The Indian media have institutionalized such low standards. This sort of operational procedure adopted by the media reinforces and authenticates the “set of assumptions” and has so far successfully ingrained in the minds of Indian people and the outcome of which is that people today are saying that it is better to be a cow than being a Muslim or Dalit in India.

This points out that at present, India is facing a citizenship deficit. The Indian state considers some Indians as citizens which are tirelessly being willfully indoctrinated by abusing Indian mainstream media and the rest are treated as subjects who lack all the privileges that are available to the citizens. Additionally, furthering the state agenda, Indian media have started to worship blind nationalism, which has concluded in dividing the Indian people into two categories conformists and non conformists viz. those who accept the ruling parties communal agenda and serves their interests and those who do not, respectively. What seems more intriguing is that the conformist victims are featured prominently and are humanized by moulding the context and details of their stories so that the readers sympathize with them. In contrast, non conformist victims get a slight detail, minimal humanization and meagre space and context that excites and enrages the people.

A good example of “conformist” Indian is the recently Honored Major Gogoi who was decorated with gallantry medal for taking an unarmed innocent Kashmiri as a human shield, which is illegal according to the “laws of land as well as the international laws”. It also exposed the myopic and selective reporting against the non-conformists, since most of the Kashmiris are considered to be so. On one side India has invoked international laws at ICJ in order to protect Kulbhushan Yadav, but on the other side it is shredding the provisions of the same international laws (Geneva Convention) which prohibits using humans as shields irrespective of the nature of the situation. The Indian state and it’s subsidiaries which is it’s media, have sent out a message, loud and clear.

 

All this is being done on the basis of fabrications and biased opinions and when such themes collapse of its own burden, the media channels quietly close the topic and move to the another topic. For example, the GPS chip in new Rs 2000 note and the radioactive ink in it was aired by major news channels in India and later they hid their heads in their tails when it was proved to be a mere imagination. This had made India and it’s media a laughing stock at the international level as well, thereby ruining the image and credibility of both.

It is high time for the Indian media to come out of their A.C. equipped war rooms and introspect if they are being abused by a political party for dessiminating their political agenda at the cost of media’s credibility. The jingoistic mindset is not going to take either the Indian media or the state of India to any heights, rather it is and will keep deterring the interests of India at home and aboard, equally; which is rightly noted by Mr. Markanday Katju that many people in India and abroad have been saying that Indian media have become irresponsible and wayward, and needs to be reined in.

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With Wisdom, Comes Humility.

We know, education is the empowerment that the youth need for a better future of their own as well as their nation and this job is nobly done by a teacher. The teaching has been considered to be the noblest job, and why not, we have every reason to call it so. Before the advent of cluster of private school system, government schools were at full bloom. Most of the marvels came from such government schools, unlike today. Then what has gone wrong that the ‘marvel producing institutions’ have become barren. Who is to be blamed? Sorry to say, but the teachers of government schools have already earned a bad name, which they need to do away with and work a little harder. Education is the means to attain a goal which is progress and teachers make an enduring impact in the lives of students. The greatest of the arts is teaching since the medium is the human mind and spirit. Teachers are the heroes of our society and often called as “builders of nation”. They take the challenge of creating and shaping worlds. The teachers while teaching touch the future of the child. Thus the eligibility for becoming a teacher needs to suffice the strength to take-on such a challenge.

The global economic crunch has forced the youth into darkness and in every country the unemployment has become the biggest menace/headache. But the filling up of posts for the job of teacher needs not to be seen through the prism of policy decisions for reducing unemployment, because in case the less competent persons become the teachers it will serve no good purpose and will add numbers to the unemployment problem by producing less competent students. Our state of Jammu and Kashmir is not an exception. But the rising rate of corruption has marred the state of affairs in Jammu and Kashmir.

The competence of a teacher must not be compromised. The future of a nation depends on the excellence of the teachers, who nourish the growing buds. So the teachers’ competence must be scrutinized prior to letting them to assume such a noble job. The government’s order of conducting screening test for the Rehbar-e-Taleem (ReT) teachers came late but it is a justified move. The case of Faisal Khan Vs. State and others, was an eye opener. A teacher who is not able to write an essay on Cow and cannot solve 4th standard mathematical numerical, do not deserve to be a teacher. Such teachers need to be fished out and shown the door. During a recent protest of teachers, I found them holding placards that had ‘time bound’ spelled as ‘time bond’, which definitely was not a typing mistake. The argument that ReT teachers put forth in their support is that they have been the key factor in increasing the literacy rate in the state, but I must tell those ReT teachers that a herd of students is not what is needed, but what we need to produce is quality students who can compete at all international and national levels. And with such teachers who do not know the difference between ‘bound’ and ‘bond’ or cannot write an essay on Cow, for sure are not eligible to be called or appointed as teachers.

The screening test that has been announced by the government is not any sort of a competitive test at the end of which only a few will be selected. If all of the ReT teachers are capable and competent then they must not be afraid of any such test, and should voluntarily commit themselves for it, to prove their mettle. The argument that by imposing such a test on the ReT teachers the government is adamant to lower their self esteem is a farce, instead by doing so your credibility and worth will get bloomed. Here your credibility is at stake, and Pardon me, but by not sitting in the test you are bringing disgrace to yourselves, by your own.

At first place, the post of ReT is a disgrace to the education system of Jammu and Kashmir. It is highly unfortunate that the government has lowered the status of a teacher by setting the minimum qualification required to be an ReT teacher at 10+2, which is same for the post of a peon or a class 4th employee, thereby sabotaging the appointment through genuine rule of general line system. A government which believes more in governance than in government will never do so, as it is an anti-society policy, which for a moment seemed to be benefiting but for the long run would ruin the quality of education in Jammu and Kashmir and eventually the future. The encumbrances of responsibilities do not end with the ReT teachers. Government has to accept its responsibility as well. ReT teachers were engaged according to certain rules and regulations under which only after the satisfactory results from such teachers they were to be regularized, and the same was done when the stipulated time of 5 years elapsed. Now after 5 years, the government wants to conduct their competency test which means something went wrong at the basic level where ReT’s were allotted the satisfaction certificates. The precious 5 years of the ReT teachers cannot be overlooked. If the government is resolute in taking the test and revolutionizing the education system then the ReT teachers need to be compensated for the previous 5 years as the earlier contract becomes null and void. And at the end if deadwood is found among these ReT teachers then the officers who allotted certificates to them need to be punished, accordingly.

Such innovative and revolutionary steps are always welcome and everyone needs to offer his helping hand so that the foreseen goal is achieved. An education system is needed that shall enhance the creativity and imagination of the students. This step of conducting screening test will surely help in travelling the long journey but there are still many more milestones that need to be crossed.

Politics of Packages.

This blood which has disappeared without leaving
a trace,
Isn’t part of written history: who will guide me to it?
It wasn’t spilled in service of emperors,
It wasn’t offered in rituals of sacrifice,
No cup of absolution holds it in a temple, It wasn’t shed in any battle,
No one calligraphed it on banners of victory.
[Faiz Ahmad Faiz, in Rebels Silhouette, translated by Agha Shahid Ali.]

On November 07, 2015 the Prime Minister of India will visit Kashmir and is supposed to address a gathering at Sher-E-Kashmir stadium in Srinagar. On the same day the separatists, as they call them, have called for a Million Men March towards the TRC in Srinagar. But the separatists will not be allowed to hold the March ( which otherwise is their democratic right) and the crack down on them has already been initiated. This symbolizes the ideological divide between the two which has got manifested into the so called Kashmir dispute. This also symbolizes the fear psychosis that both the governments are suffering from. In a democracy the ideological differences are addressed to and not curbed like in an autocracy. Then can we say that Indian state has donned a democratic mask to an autocratic rule in Kashmir?

India and Pakistan as well as UNSC which has Kashmir dispute still on agenda, consider 1947 as the date of birth of this tragedy. But this in fact is the date when Indo-Pak skirmishes started due to the cunning policies of the Britishers. According to me, Kashmir dispute has its roots in 1586 when Mughals invaded Kashmir and the last scion of the Kashmiri rulers i.e. Chaks were annihilated and burried in Bihar. Every regime that ruled Kashmir from 1586 was oppressive towards the Kashmiris in general and muslim majority in particular. All of these regimes tried hard to keep Kashmir a part of their territories either for the economic value or the strategic/defense value. For India kashmir is
important in both ways. By the invasion of Mughals , Kashmir lost its independent statehood and was merged in the mughal conquest map. Indian invasion of Kashmir is not an exception to this policy. On a similar pattern , India invaded Kashmir through Dogra ruler who had bought Kashmir for 75 Lakhs from the Britishers, the sale which Kashmiris were not able to resist at that time.

The Dogra ruler had gazed at Kashmir through the economic prism, as he saw huge wealth and free labour in Kashmir. The Dogra period was a dark one for Kashmiris which still over shadows their lives. In 2015, the time and players have changed but the policy remains the same, as is believed by majority of Kashmiris. The people in Kashmir believe that time and again Indian governments have announced economic packages for their own good and not for Kashmiris. They believe that the money that flows through Jawahar Tunnel is utilized for India’s own interests.

They are of the notion that the money, if given, shall not be utilized for the developmental works beneficial for Kashmiris but will be back-tracked at the doors of Indian parliament. The money may be utilized for setting up colonies or the colonial type power projects that are of no benefit to the Kashmiris. When it comes to filling old wine in new bottles, Indian politicians have got a great expertise in it. They are trying to hide their failures in Kashmir and are colluding against the independent existence of Kashmir.

The Million Men March call and 2010 intifada is the proof that India needs to think beyond the economic packages as such packages have neither been able to win over the hearts of Kashmiris in past nor will it serve their intended purpose in present or future. The curbs on separatists is also doing no good to the ‘economic package’ policy of New Delhi as on one side they rant reconciliation and on the other they are watering the plant of dissent that has roots in the hearts of the people, thus the economic package seems to be a mere
eye-wash. Instead of an economic package all what Kashmiris need is a political package. But when New Delhi instead keeps ranting economic package, it proves that they are determined to live in ignorance and denial which exposes their cynical beliefs. During the visit of all-party delegation to Kashmir in 2010, the Indian political class had altogether accepted the political nature of Kashmir. Now on 7th November, we hope the rulers of the present time do not re-sell us for a 90K crore jibe, to start a darker period for the people of Kashmir whose eyes are stuck to the sky in hope of some sun-shine. Kashmir, right from the period of Mughal invasion, has been stripped off its independent existence and whenever they raised voice they were crushed like ants. If New Delhi wants the plant of peace to grow in Kashmir which cannot happen by putting it under a fluorescent bulb but instead needs to be exposed to the real sunlight.

Pride and Prejudice- Kashmir after alliance.

As a citizen of Jammu and Kashmir, I am constantly haunted by the term “governance alliance” that has been revolving around for some time now. Evolution of the term has not been so easy, as it needed the great hard-work to bring North Pole and South Pole closer to each other, or [maybe] not. Both the BJP and PDP sought votes so as to keep each other at bay, but now it seems that the people of Jammu and Kashmir took the term “keep each other at bay” wrongly as it actually meant, “at the same bay”. The alliance of BJP and PDP, which might not had been the outcome after the fractured mandate had been given to them if “keep each other at bay” logic is applied, has so far been marred by the controversies, which started since the day of taking oath. The “governance alliance” has been flagged high on the pillars of Common Minimum Program that in one way or the other is not clear about the so called “development” or “governance”. The people of Jammu and Kashmir are not so naïve that they could not understand the language used in the CMP. The same old wine i.e. “confusion” has been put in the new bottles and is being served to the people.

Pertinently, BJP has explicitly given up on the issue of Article 370 and the PDP on the issue of removal of AFSPA and Self-Rule, which becomes the basis of the fear psychosis to me. BJP, that we all know, has its roots in RSS which is ardent in converting India into a Hindu state and has been trying it for a long time. Since the PDP has allied with the BJP, a notion haunts me that the PDP has got involved in the act of sell out for the lust of power paving way for the BJP to further its roots in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

PDP may be counting on the assertion that keeping people of Jammu and Kashmir busy with the slogan of “rejuvenation of economy” by targeting corruption, and regional imbalances with respect to infrastructure, will keep them away from the political issues of Kashmir, is Naïve. On the other side, BJP’s assertion that calling foreign secretary talks between New-Delhi and Islamabad will make people believe that the political aspects of the state are being discussed by the Indian government with the Pakistani government, will keep the people of Kashmir in a state of trance, is also Naïve. Sidelining the “separatist lobby” of Jammu and Kashmir in this matter significantly makes us believe that all such acts and assertions are just to let the other 6 years pass. The separatist lobby in Kashmir has a handsome number of “ideological followers” in the state that cannot be sidelined. Anyone who speaks about the agony of the Innocent Kashmiris is dubbed as the traitor or agent or terrorist, isn’t it a hypocrisy?

PDP has been denying all such allegations and [maybe] they are true then in that case they might not have compromised on the political agendas of the State. Recent release of the political prisoner, Masarat Alam who has been called as the “Pak Agent” by the Indian Media, blindly on the basis of some police report that merely contains allegations, has been seen in India as a treacherous act of the Mufti Mohammad Syed to which he has been skeptical. The only reply from him has been that he will not succumb to the pressure tactics of his ally and will not allow the decisions regarding state to be taken in New Delhi unlike Sheikh Abdullah who was reinstated as CM of Jammu and Kashmir state after 22 years by Indira Gandhi after he succumbed to their pressure tactics.  That means he is ardent of releasing the political prisoners that are languishing in jails for years without any trial. For that we need to wait and watch if the history would repeat itself or something new happens. Had this been the case then Mufti would not had compromised on the political issues of the state, [maybe]. Mufti Mohammad Syed today is being called as traitor and what not for releasing the political prisoners, by the Indian media, which clearly signifies that even alliance with BJP, that was considered to be the party of untouchables in Kashmir, is not the license to prove the Patriotism, either.

 The AFSPA has been killing the innocent Kashmiris be it in Macchil or any other part of the state. How could “governance alliance” bring back such lives or how could such an economic development convince or sooth the mother of such a Martyr? [Maybe], by preventing further bloodshed of innocent Kashmiris. But until the draconian law like AFSPA is in place such a thing is far beyond any imagination.

History is evident of the fact that the nations had been occupied by changing their demography. AFSPA has since its inception been doing the same, killing innocent Kashmiris that they unfortunately term as collateral damage. An article in the recent CMP has added to such evil intentions. The CMP proposes to settle the Pakistani Refugees in the state so that the king making power of the state could shift to the Jammu region. Thereby the CMP is all set to divide the state of Jammu and Kashmir on communal basis, which else is famous for its hospitality and patience all over the world. Settling such refugees is indeed a humanitarian issue but their settlement in Kashmir will deter the Kashmir cause and [maybe], Kashmir will be forced back to the 2010 like situation which will indeed be a “National Security Threat” which shall not be compromised in any way. It shall be more prudent to settle such refugees in Delhi where they will get more amenities and resources so that their economic weakness could be done away with, which is not possible in an economically and industrially weak state, like Jammu and Kashmir.

The narration of the term “governance” from both the parties is totally different and produces two different versions of a same thing. To BJP “governance” in Jammu and Kashmir means to strengthen the roots and the same to PDP means economic strengthening of the state, as evident from the CMP but the document misses the political issues of the state, either by mistake or intentionally. The BJP and PDP has entered into a live-in relationship which if fails would end up in self remorse, regret and shame and if more caution is not taken then it may give rise to the Frankenstein’s monster that will put them in a more grave trouble, than self remorse, regretting or shame.

The Vale Echoes Elections


Our fingers gripped by the shadow of guns and chaos. The concept of “free will” has been pushed to the dark corner of the mind and heart by fear and hatred, equally. We gaze at each other with a suspicious eye and before saying a word publicly we pass it through a thousand security checks points in our minds. We have been hypnotized by the pendulum of development. A belief has been inscribed in our hearts that we are free but in real it is forced subjugation. We are dead while we live. Yes! I am talking of Kashmir. The virgin land that has become a divorced land even before an affair, and no one asks her what she wants. Yes! Kashmir has become a cruel joke and the politicians are its stand up comedians. And Kashmiris are the spectators that are paying.


There is a notion propagated by the Indian media and its politicians that the election in Kashmir is a clear and loud message that they want to be with India. The high voter turnout is being portrayed as allegiance to the India. The recent statement by India, a UN member, at United Nations about elections in Kashmir is a desperate attempt by them to humiliate the United Nations. United Nations in its several resolutions has cleared their stand about the elections in Kashmir by stating that election is a non issue and if Kashmir witnesses a 100% voter turnout it will not deter the freedom struggle of Kashmiris. The world is well aware of the Indian propaganda and policies. But the people of Jammu and Kashmir are stuck in a maze of development, which they vote for. It is just a trap laid by India for Kashmiris to woo them towards elections and they fall prey to this lone illusion. Peace and freedom are sine qua non of development. Kashmir will never get developed until it attains freedom. If Kashmir gets developed then India will have no other illusion to woo the people of Kashmir towards elections. But still India claims the high voter turn out to be its win. Still if India is so sure that 80% population of Jammu and Kashmir supports them then they must not be afraid of plebiscite that will solve the problem once for all. But they will never wish to do so, and you know why!

                   India stresses hard on peaceful resolution and says that it is ready to talk with Pakistan about Kashmir issue. India sings the slogan “Let us give peace a chance” at all international forums but when Kashmiris give “peace” a chance they sing a different slogan. Here in Kashmir they portray elections as peace and peace as allegiance to the Union of India and label them as pro-Indians, while rest are labeled as separatists. Leaving aside the cunning policies and propaganda of India, participation in elections in Kashmir is in no way a referendum for Kashmir issue. Had the custom been so, then India would still have been a British slave state as slave Indians of British India actively participated in elections under the British charter.

Being leaderless is like being a limp and India has successfully done so with Kashmir. It is not just the India that has failed us but it is our own people also who get mandate from people as their representatives. We have separatist lobby that has tried from past more than a decade to make people aware of the intentions and policies of India but have failed to so and thus be sailing in the same boat of “failure” with the mainstream politicians. They are more or less responsible for the hype that has been given to the elections or voting, unnecessarily. They have turned a non-issue thing into an issue. Recently Scotland was given a chance to decide their future through referendum, inspite of that the Scots used to vote under English laws. Kashmir is filled with politicians but what we need is leaders be it separatist leaders or mainstream leaders that shall represent the real Kashmiri.