Srinagar: The Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) has lamented the continued denial of government advertisements to Kashmir’s two major newspapers – Kashmir Reader and Greater Kashmir.
A statement issued by the KEG said that the “unexplained halt” was directly hitting the constitutional guarantees that encourage free media in democratic societies, at a time when world’s largest democracy is readying for one of the major electoral exercises on earth.
“We had requested the authorities to at least offer us a reason for why the advertisements were stopped, without intimation and reason. We have not been given an iota of reason, so far,” the statement said.
The ban has deprived the two publications of the rightful revenue stream and has started hurting the “state and status of journalism in Kashmir”. It was done at a time when the newspapers were busy drafting capital intensive plans for effective coverage of the elections about to be announced by the Election Commission of India, it said.
The KEG said it is requesting Governor Satya Pal Malik and his advisors to take the issue very seriously and look at it in the context of the largest democratic exercise that is about to start.
“A democracy that lacks a vibrant media will have to face uncomfortably serious questions,” it said.
From the Governor’s administration, the KEG is seeking a formal response and immediate undoing of the crippling order. The editors’ body is hopeful that the government will give it a top priority and undo the anti-democratic restrictions, the statement added.