Editorial: Sharma has a point 

Srinagar: The Union government’s Special Representative on Jammu and Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma made a statement that some private TV news channels are propagating vicious propaganda against Kashmiris.

The statement from the interlocutor has come at a time when the state’s Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti too raised the issue and asked the promoters of these channels to stop the anti Kashmir rhetoric and help in promoting peace in the Valley. 

The argument that some private TV channels have in a bid to increase their TRP’s resorted to maligning the Kashmiri nation is no secret. Most of the TV channels have been raising their voices to such a tenor that it seems that Kashmiri’s are the most dreaded people living on the planet. So much so these channels have made it a point to hire some nonsensical commentators who take pride in demonizing the entire population in Kashmir.

These so called commentators claim to be experts on Kashmir affairs just because they have incidentally happened to dwell at this place for some years which qualifies them to spit venom against the majority community and giving a bad name to the entire region.

The vicious campaign which has been raised has not only defeated the very ethos and existence of the Kashmiri society but is now threatening the state economically and politically as well.

The fact that the state is witnessing marked and visible lines on communal basis is no secret at all. The state which represents true brotherhood and communal harmony in true spirits is being teared apart and the reason being the campaign started by these hate mongers.

Most of the times these channels are just making a mountain out of a molehill. Many times, the debates are vitriolic and are distant from facts on the ground. This being the reason that tourism, on which the state thrives-is an all time low as a message has gone across in most of the states that Kashmir is burning and nobody is safe in a place that is haunted by separatist forces.

The hate mongering by these news channels has also given rise to a sentiment across India that no negotiations or dialogue should be held with the people of Kashmir. This notion is causing the derailment of any dialogue process initiated at any level to resolve the vexed issue. 

Even this issue was raised by several delegations that met Sharma during his three visits to the state. These people complained that a few news channels were propagating a negative image of Kashmiris.

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