India’s Fantasy World: Ban Aljazeera & Kill Kashmiris

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Believe it or not, the Indian government has created its own fantasy world, in which, not only the Indian government lives but they have also dragged the people of India into that fantasy world. If you don’t believe me then take any Bollywood production for example, showing lavish living standards, set up in foreign locations or any other Indian television typical “Saas-Bahu” soaps, and then compare it with the real statistics of India, having one third of the total number of poor people of the world. You will not be able to digest what they show in their media productions but that’s the fantasy world, in which India keeps not only its own people but also the people of the world who don’t know that everything that shines is not gold and same is the case with shining India.

Let us look at some recent news statistics from Indian occupied Kashmir:

  • Police of the 7thlargest democracy of the world (another fantasy) arrested a top Kashmiri leader Masarat Alam Bhat for leading an anti-India protest march and raising pro-Pakistan slogans.
  • A teanager, Suhail Ahmad Sofi was killed and two others were injured when Indian army opened fire on the protestors in Kashmir.
  • Few days earlier an FIR was registered against Chairman Dukhtaran-e-Millat Asiya Andrabi another Kashmiri leader for hoisting a Pakistani flag and singing national anthem of Pakistan on Pakistan Day.
  • Hurriyat leader Yasin Malik was arrested last week, because he opposed separate townships for Kashmiri Pandits and have called for a complete shutdown across the valley over the issue.

All this happened in Indian occupied Kashmir just in one week’s time frame, to keep the Indian fantasy world alive. Around 100,000 Kashmiri civilians have been killed by Indian forces and 10,000 disappeared in Kashmir valley only in the last two decades, but still India thinks “all is well” and there is no such thing as Kashmir issue in the world.

Qatar based news channel, Aljazeera has been banned in India since one week, by the Indian government, just for showing Kashmir as a disputed area on the world map, which in fact is “the actual map” of the region and Kashmir is a disputed area as per UN resolutions. Nothing else than this ban on Aljazeera could better prove the Indian addiction to their fantasy world.

In 2011, government of India ordered The Economist magazine to cover up a map that depicted the disputed border in Kashmir. Just to cover up this map showing the disputed border, the newsweekly magazine had to place white stickers over the map on all 28,000 copies on sale in India.

Few days back, broadcasting of BBC’s documentary titled “India’s Daughter”, made by award-winning British film-maker Leslee Udwin was banned in India. The men convicted for gang-raping and murdering a female student in the capital New-Delhi are shown blaming the victim, mainly because of her gender in the documentary. This is the real face of India, which the BBC was not allowed to broadcast, because it could have broken the shackles of Indian fantasy world.

Time has come that India should realize now that killing 100,000 Kashmiri civilians, placing white stickers on disputed borders on 28,000 copies of a magazine, banning Aljazeera for showing the reality to people of India and arresting Kashmiri leaders is not the solution of the problem. By hiding its head in the sand India cannot get rid of the problem, because it is still there and it needs to be resolved. India should make sincere effort to resolve the issue of Kashmir with a meaningful dialogue with Pakistan.

As far as Aljazeera, The Economist, and other media channels are concerned they also have to decide whether they should follow the norms of journalism and bring the truth in front of their viewers and readers or will they also hide their heads in the sand. Aljazeera has condemned this ban but it is now a test for them, whether they will keep upholding journalistic norms and continue showing the truth of Kashmir as a disputed area, or will they cash this ban as a publicity stunt; the next few days should prove it.

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Atiq is an IT professional, his area of interest are Socio-Politico issues of subcontinent and regional security issues with a special focus on Afghanistan, India and Pakistan. Can be reached at [email protected] and tweets at @atiqpkkh.

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