Letter by a young IAS officer regarding the prevalent situation in Kashmir and the role of media

The following is a letter by Yasin Choudhary, a young IAS officer based in Kashmir, regarding the prevalent situation in Kashmir and how Arnab Goswamis of the world are actually detrimental to the cause of peace.

Dear Friends

I have been stuck in Srinagar following the continued curfew/bandh and Internet blockade since July 9 and finally been able to find a way to access my account today only.

I have been getting numerous calls from concerned friends in the rest of the country who after getting unsettled by news reports of killing of 37 protestors (as of now) under police firing, in addition to more than 100 youth getting blinded by rubber pellet firing and around 2000 injured, wanted to know why this violence continues to perpetuate.

While I normally refrain from making comments on political issues here on Facebook, I feel utterly forced to write down this status as the propaganda surrounding it all in the national news infuriates me immensely.

Sadly, our national news channels have been incessantly showing hate filled, vitriolic reporting which is meant to deliberately vilify these Kashmiri protestors. I implore you to not fall for this bullshit . PLEASE DONOT BELIEVE A WORD THAT CHANNELS LIKE TIMES NOW AND ZEE NEWS PREACH BEFORE YOU. Arnab Goswami and his ilk will have you believe that each and every one of the lakhs of angry Kashmiris who are spilling out on the streets is a terrorist and that the 37 youth who were killed in police firing completely deserved to die ! What’s even more disheartening is how quickly so many Indians are falling for this propaganda and baying for Kashmiri blood all over social media.

I urge you to please don’t accept this inhuman idea under the excuse of national security and integrity. This is the point where nationalism turns into aggression and xenophobia.

Please understand that these lakhs of Kashmiris are not spilling out in the streets in the face of flying bullets simply because they are angry over the killing of Burhan Wani. These protests are blowing up now majorly because of years of piled up injustice, unaddressed grievances and violations that people of Kashmir have suffered partly because of our own (Indian state’s) mistakes.

Whatever your opinion on the Kashmir issue might be, please keep in mind how loss of any innocent human life is irrepairable. If you really want to keep this country together then please try and find some compassion in your hearts for the long standing anguish and grievance of Kashmir. Put yourself in the shoes of a Kashmiri before you quickly generalise things.

The current biased reporting done by some national news channels is only angering and alienating Kashmiris more and more and consequently widening the gulf between them and the rest of Indians. This kind of reporting only leads Kashmiris to believe that the rest of Indians considers their lives disposable and approves this killing of innocent protestors by security forces.

Remember, Gandhiji said – Anger is the enemy of non-violence and pride is a monster that swallows it up.

Yasin Choudhary

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