Third Eye

There are hardly any eyebrows raised in valley when Delhi media presents facts regarding Kashmir in a twisted and biased manner. It shocks none at all. It has been a routine that Delhi media looks at Kashmir through a pre-briefed national narrative mirror. There is no way Delhi media can change its perceived perceptions when it comes to Kashmir. No media outlet in India, barring a few in print media, affords to take a rational standing on news emerging from this conflict ridden region.  There is always an element of bias reflected in the way Kashmir is reported by the Delhi press. 

Take for instance the recent revelation regarding a serving minister in Omar Abdullah’s cabinet who has been accused of molesting a female doctor at a guest house in Srinagar. Delhi media lost no time in disclosing the identity of the victim for its controversy loving audiences. They ran the story of the victim in such a manner that the onus of proving her innocence was once again put on her feeble shoulders. As the news and the victim were both from Kashmir there was not inner voice telling media bosses to show respect towards the victim’s privacy. However, the same media talked in high pitch the importance of respecting a victim’s privacy by not disclosing her identity in high profile Nirabhaya rape and murder case. With eyes full of tears, news anchors guarded the victim even after her death.

But when it comes to reporting events from Kashmir the otherwise sober eyes of TV news anchors turn fiery red and they forget all journalistic ethics. They only see national interest. The way they cashed a victimised lady doctor’s tragedy is not only shameful but morally wrong too.

Even Supreme Court prohibits media from disclosing the name of the victim. The guidelines term such a disclosure as morally incorrect. But who cares as the victim is a Kashmiri. In another high profile molestation case involving Tehalka chief Tarun Tejpal, an FIR was filed against Madhu Kishwar for exposing the female journalists name to public. After the news became public the torch-bearers of morality asked nothing less than Kishwar’s head. 

But one fails to understand why these moral yardsticks end at that side of the Jawahar tunnel. Why nobody dares to question Delhi media as why they look differently at a victim just because she happens to come from a different place. Why nobody takes a candle march and demand justice. Is Kashmir really a different place?

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