Urges India to understand, not criminalise Kashmir’s aspirations
Anantnag: Senior Indian journalist and author Sagarika Ghose said on Friday at Anantnag that the Government of India (GoI) needs to take Kashmir out of the domain of the Army, the Intelligence Bureau, and the Babus (bureaucracy). She also urged the GoI to stop criminalising the Kashmiri protestor.
Ghose was interacting with media persons at the Anantnag Dak Bungalow after attending a conference titled ‘Kashmir Conundrum: Stakes and Stakeholders’, organised by South Kashmir Civil Society.
She was asked about the role that prominent members of civil society like her should play in bringing to the fore the aspirations of the common Kashmiri. In her reply, Ghose said that civil society should “liberalise” its mentality vis-à-vis Kashmir.
“Like we have liberalised the economy, we should liberalise our mentality the same way,” Ghose said and promptly added that Kashmir needs to be taken out of the domain of the Army, the Intelligence Bureau and the “Babus” (the bureaucracy). “We have to bring Kashmir into a people-to-people relationship,” she said.
She urged the people of Kashmir to not go by what the State and the politicians have to say.
“Politicians and the State will say inflammatory things, they will incite their constituency, they will play their politics. We should never go by what they do and say,” she said.
Asked if she has a message for the GoI, Ghose urged the government to understand the aspirations of the Kashmiri people and to stop criminalising the Kashmiri protestor.
She said that the Kashmiri people have the right to hit the streets and protest.
“You cannot treat them all like Jihadis or people who have come from outside. Maybe there are some outside elements, but the fact remains that Kashmiris have a right to protest and put forth their grievances,” she said and added that the government should be in listening mode.
In a free-flowing chat with local media, Ghose did not hesitate to criticise her own fraternity back home. She termed the role of the Indian media as “unfortunate”.
“The role of the media is unfortunate. There are some channels who say very unfortunate things on air. We should not spare our time towards such channels,” Ghose said.
She said that the need of the hour was to understand that there was a TRP war going on, and the channels were playing the game.
Ghose repeatedly urged for better people-to-people relations and said that history could be forgotten, but not geography.
“Historically, there is so much of pain Kashmiri people have had to suffer. But then, the geography is also a fact, which cannot be forgotten like history (can be). We need to ensure that there are better people-to-people bridges built,” she said.