The Unfazed Mission of Truth Telling

The Unfazed Mission of Truth Telling
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On the 2nd of October, 2016, almost at the height of the intense uprising and mass protests, Kashmir Reader was summarily banned by the Government. The ban was peremptory and brusque and the reason(s) flimsy and cooked to suit those who probably felt and deemed that the newspaper was against their preferred narrative. The fact is and remains that Kashmir Reader’s operating philosophy was premised on the truth and our working assumptions flow from this very philosophy. But, truth, especially speaking truth to power, has historically always entailed carrying and exacting a price. The ban, in essence was the price that Kashmir Reader, paid for speaking the truth and being a echo chamber of society- precisely the role that media should play and conform to. Our newspaper , among other things, is in the nature of a mirror: we highlight and illustrate nagging issues- political, social , economic, cultural and so on- in an attempt to ameliorate and resolve the various and innumerable issues and problems that Kashmir faces at multiple levels. This is a mission that Kashmir Reader set for itself the moment it was conceived and then crystallized. From a broader and perhaps, given the contemporary drift in politics, academic perspective, this is precisely the role and nature of the Fourth Estate. This role axiomatically entails a certain tension between power and the wielders of power. Healthy and vibrant societies and polities thrive off this tension as the media serves as a check and corrective on uses or misuses of power. However, in conflict zones, truth is viewed with jaundiced eyes and sought to be manipulated to suit powers that be. Our mission of and for truth corresponded to the essence of honest and scrupulously truthful media but it was not palatable to certain powers that who sought squelch and crush us. But, as the adage that “ truth cannot be suppressed for long” goes, Kashmir Reader went back to work and we began operating with the same premise and philosophy that undergirded our mission: that of speaking the truth. While the ban has been lifted, but our mission of articulating the truth has been attempted to be tampered with. The ban was in the nature of an “ in your face” brusque measure to intimidate us, but since its lifting, other measures , designed to squeeze and pressurize us to trot narratives that go against the gravamen and philosophy of the Kashmir Reader. We resisted pressure and techniques of control then and we continue on the same path of truth. In the final analysis, we are answerable to the people . This is where we draw the fountainhead and reservoirs of our strength and resilience and it is this that will give us impetus to carry forward the mission of telling the truth.

 

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