Media propagates reality. It presents things as they exist. But when this reality is dressed up and masked, absurdity prevails. India, a country that claims to be the worlds largest democracy, is overlooking the very basic principle of democracy-protecting human rights. Kashmir, a valley of saints, is a perfect example of how this democratic nation is trampling over every single definition of democracy.
The days of sufferings are far from over for the people of Kashmir. The people who witnessed state brutality during the nineties still shiver at the site of the double door armoured vehicle called as Zaal. The mere sound of zaal was enough to send people scrambling in fear as these vehicles were believed to be mobile torture centres. A person who was picked up in these army vehicles was never seen again. They simply disappeared from the face of the earth. The so called national media may still be busy politicising redundant issues but the truth is that the valley of Kashmir has never seen an ounce of justice. There are countless examples of how the state forces have been involved in gross human rights violations in Kashmir. But the un-biased national media is busy portraying us, the victims of oppression, as terrorists. This media has left no stone unturned in presenting Kashmiris as hostile and violent people to the world. We are being presented as emotional fools who pick up weapons and try to mutilate the same hand that feeds us or, in this case, the forces that protect us. In their haste to label us as terrorists and our sympathisers as anti-nationalists, Indian media has completely overlooked how the guardians of the nation are going on a killing spree in the valley.
Even though many international organisations have recognised and tried to demand an end to the unabated trampling of human rights in Kashmir, none of them have yet been able to establish anything concrete on the ground. International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Kashmir (IPTK), which was formed to introspect into the human rights violations in Kashmir, has proven to be just a formality.
The implementation of the Rowlatt Act of February 1919by the British colonisers, under which Indians were denied any legal trial, is the best example by which we can explain why laws like Public Safety Act (PSA) and Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) are considered to be draconian. These laws have shielded the soldiers and also given them power to oppress the Kashmiris.
The village of Kunan Poshpora is still haunted by the memory of that night when the modesty of their womenfolk was outraged in the middle of the night. It is said that scars tell a story of their own. The valley of Kashmir too is covered by scars. Every one of these scars narrates a tale of injustice, torture and oppression. It is only a matter of time before the real face of Indian democracy is revealed and justice prevails. After all, a dark night is always followed by a bright and beautiful dawn.
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