By Asiya Raheem

Without regular access to news, most of us would be unaware of what is going on in the world as well as around us. Media be it national or local aims at keeping us informed and forewarned about events which may affect us directly or indirectly. While the role of national media is tremendous when it comes to disseminating information, local news channels also enjoy a niche position in the local community. The purpose of local news is to see, know, care about and understand the community. Many people believe that local media stations are like public libraries and museums. They preserve culture, educate and engage in order to build understanding of various local issues. But when the local news channels are banned in name of peace and order, the people are robbed of their right to information. When curbs are put in place on media even in the 21st century, it puts a question mark on the claims of being the world’s largest democracy. Local news channels had been banned by the government in Kashmir during the summer turmoil of 2010 stating that the channels were only serving to disrupt the peace in the valley. Six years later, when the situation has improved quite a lot, the ban still continues to be in effect. Why is the ban still in place? Is it because the government wants to gate keep information or is it because it wants to protect the interests of the people? In an era when information is flowing freely, how justified is the ban? Team Melange asks. Here is what people think