By Dr. Waleed Rasool.
Equipped with pen, mike and camera, an Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir journalists, delivering at key positions, with state and private owned print and electronic media houses of Rawalpindi and Islamabad have entered in the scene as key actor and stakeholder to play their rule at frontline. Is it good omen, that resistance will get new lease of talented slot at various fields of mass communication that have fingers on the pulse of multi – dimensions of Kashmir conflict? Pooling collective efforts in one direction while keeping Kashmir cause at priority is their primary objective, however, whether their efforts would be received with open arms, by mainstream journalists forms of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Islamabad press club and other journalist bodies is yet to been seen, though, it is not new practice, when journalists are simultaneously, accredited one, member of press club, member of RIUJ, PFUJ and vice versa.
Occupied Kashmir Journalists are forced migrants of third phase of migration 1990 onwards. Migration is painful phenomena of humanity, particularly, when migrant neither return to their motherland not to visit his family on other side of divide. These journalists are from same slot, though they are physically on job but are rooming spiritually and mentally in their own streets, villages and cities of homeland which they left behind.
“Kashmiri journalists are ambassadors of pain because their mode of resistance is through pen and gadgets of modern media, having compulsion, to keep Kashmir cause at priority”
Edward Saied represented the pain of migration, who was migrant from Palestine to Jordan to Egypt and then finally to US. He gave birth to exile literature and doctrine of pain of migration and agony, known as “orientalism” which is an epitome of scholarly work of exile literature. It explored artifacts, style of the migrated people and cultures of Asia. He unveiled how colonialism snatched the cultural identities in a stereotyped way, that regarded embodying the colonist attitude. He studied pain how Arabs are treated as backward, exotic and uncivilized by west. He tried to mitigate the difference between the eastern and western cultures and cultures of Asia. Kashmiri journalists are also ambassadors of pain because their mode of resistance is through pen and gadgets of modern media, having compulsion, to keep Kashmir cause at priority because their kiths and kens and nears and dears are still under clutches of Indian mayhem.
Media is a game changer particularly in era of globalization therefore indigenous journalist have uphill task to unveil Indian headedness and media gimmicks. Migrant journalists have to understand how media shapes and determines the issues of importance, particularly during conflict called the agenda setting phenomena of McCombs and Shaw.
Indian media sets the agenda and focuses on gray areas, Pakistani media picks the same line as breaking news and the international media carries it accordingly while bends to perceive those issues more important which dents right to self determination. The classification of public issues and silent issue needs to be determined. Indian media is always bound and gagged up and above with regard to Kashmir and they know dynamic of journalism because they invest huge resources to give bad name to resistance.
“power of media particularly in post modernization era when Hi-Tech in information technology is order of the day and world is global village”
Creaming of the crop and minting money while handling cock and bull stories on Kashmir conflict Vis-à-vis involving journalists as experts is big game on both sides of divide however Ashoka Panditha, Anupam Khair, Gythri Ragnathren are above ground actors of India whose underground task is to scrutinize the occupied Kashmir journalists under the tag of “Deshbaght’, therefore, journalists who are passed from these gate keeping phenomena are provided, any and every facilities and resources by concerned Indian embassies and they are seen representing Kashmir issue at every global stage, even in Pakistan. Sate machinery though aware of activities of this subversive element, seems helpless to seize their presence on Pakistani soil and they are provided the multiple visas. The venom spread by Zee Tv, Aaj Tak Tv and NDV Tv had packed down that peace constituency of India represented by Gautam Naulakha, Arundati Roy and Angana Chatergee etc who have been unbiased Indians and peace lovers.
Journalists association of occupied Kashmir needs to toil, while batten down the hatches, with fellow journalistic bodies, because any and every journalist is frontline soldier, if he understands the power of media particularly in post modernization era when Hi-Tech in information technology is order of the day and world is global village. They shall not precipitate emotionalism and shall chill in calm, while to begin with baby steps and try their utmost to be aloof from politics of hatred. The ranks of journalist bodies shall receive them with open arms while biting more that one can chew because patriotism is common ground of all such activities while as Kashmir is core issue of foreign policy of Pakistan. Journalist bodies shall build the capacity of migrant fellows, by empowering them because there is nothing erroneous if a section of Kashmiris intends to keep Kashmir close to their heart and soul.
The writer hails from Srinagar.
MSc, Mphil(MC), PhD (IR) Scholar
Accredited Journalist/Freelance Columnist, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org