National media—particularly the news channels—these days are airing debates that usually turn noisy, and end up discussing nothing.
The burning topics in these debates are: the recent ‘Sting Op’ on three Separatist leaders of Kashmir by a national news channel and the recent development where the Army Major Nitin Gogoi, who used a Budgam man as the Human Shield, was awarded with Army Chief’s commendation card.
Every night news channels come up with the debate shows wherein they “wrongly discuss” the issues in Kashmir, and yesterday hailed Army’s decision of awarding the major Nitin Gogoi.
Kashmiri panellists, who are called to take part in the debate shows are usually gagged, and are not allowed to take an active part in the debate shows, thus, the anchors do not allow the participants to put across their point.
“Turn off the mic” is the famous instruction the news anchors give to his technical crew when they don’t want to listen to any participant.
On Monday night a Delhi based news channel broadcasted a live debate, where the Human Shield case and the commendation from the Army for the major were discussed. The debate however, turned ugly when the anchor of the show termed Er Rasheed as shameless. Within next ten seconds, the situation went out of control, with the anchor, initially, turned off Rasheed’s microphone and finally, asked him to leave the debate.
Local’s in the valley have been castigating the national media regarding the coverage that have been given to Kashmir, and the sensitive issues related to the same, “they do not show the real picture of Kashmir, and deal with the issues that are sensitive, immaturely,” said Tariq Bhat, a local and a regular viewer of such debate shows.
While others are of the opinion that news channels do not exactly discuss the issue they are supposed to, but as per them, “start maligning Kashmiris, and present the distorted image of what is happening in Kashmir.” Tariq says that at times his “blood boils” whenever such debates are aired.
With every passing day, the news content regarding Kashmir, on such news channels is decreasing, and what is taking the pace and is dominating the entire broadcast is the “witch hunting” of Kashmiris.
“These news channels did not report the story about the man who was tied in front of the vehicle in Budgam district, however they glorified the army man accused in that,” said Ghulam Hassan, a local, adding that “maligning us, is only what they are doing; don’t talk of gory state of human rights in the state.”