News Pollution in Conflict Zones

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By: Ahmad Kashmiri
There is a Kashmiri saying “Ekes Dazav Makane, Byakh Aayav Wautt Buzne” (while somebody’s house was burning, another man had come to bake his cob). Same applies to the politicians who always try to bake their political cob when people are subjected to the oven of sufferings and atrocities. At a time when Kashmir is burning in the mayhem of atrocities, brutalities and corrupt practices, these politicians have left no stone unturned in gaining political mileage out of the mayhem. Sometimes they raise hue and cry over the scarcity and short supply of ‘essential commodities’ like sugar, kerosene, rice or for that matter the electricity transformer requirement. And when these things fall under incompetence to gain the desired mileage due to one or the other reason then these politicians resort to allegations and cross allegations of corruption, scams and scandals against their rival mainstream parties or persons. When this formula too fails, they vow in the name of ‘Kashmir issue’ and try to undermine the masses. Some media being their own and the other media including the print media being under constraints, a natural fallout of working in conflict zones, these politicians do succeed in their mission to some extent though not permanently.
Last year most of the killed boys were below the age of 14 years. It is pertinent to mention here that the developed world has many laws and regulations for the child labour which applies to the same age group and the laws are in vogue and are implemented almost everywhere in the world with the largest democracy of the world – India is no exception. But Alas! The same developed world had become a mere spectator when teenaged boys and girls are murdered in cold blood in these conflict ridden areas of the world like Palestine, Iraq and Kashmir. India has a pride of having child-loving leaders like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and A P J Abul Kalam.
And while the blood of teenagers continued to gush out and their killings continued, yet the politicians succeeded in encroaching the news columns despite the fact that the audience especially the readers of the newspapers were emetic to this type of news, thinking, that if at all, it could be categorised as a hard-news following the tempest condition of the situation in Kashmir. The rival politicians have been on the mission of down playing with each other, and the newspapers having ethical and other professional constraints, carry the developments going on from day to day with respect to the political scenario of Kashmir. But following the ground situation of Kashmir politicians and their ‘business’ is least important to a common Kashmiri.
Indeed in such times even if the ruling power gets transferred from one political party to another and thereby chief minister gets changed or if the State Assembly gets dissolved and the Governor rule follows, it does not have any core importance as the analysts believe in. The core issue in which lies the main root of all the offshoots of uncertainty, unrest, upsurge or whatever the terminology one may use for it, is the root cause of the conflict and in Kashmiris case it is unresolved Kashmir dispute. It can neither be cocooned nor embedded in the causes of poverty, unemployment, social-injustice or the development and progress thereof. These causes are indeed the escape sequences, which politicians have been availing. But finally it is difficult that these escape sequences work longer because the sprit has got transferred to forthcoming generations of these conflict ridden areas of the world, which (generations) grew only in the ups and downs of the vigorous stage of movements. The celebrity columnists call this generation as the ‘conflict generation’.
The analysts who have a vigilant eye on the developments taking place in Kashmir believe that there is tough time for politicians who have to face this conflict generation every now and then. This generation has matured enough to understand all kinds of ‘developments’ (things) taking place in Kashmir. These teenagers are aware and also bold enough to not fall prey to any trick and flattering by today’s ‘seasoned’ politicians. Their courage is sky-scraping, their aspirations are soaring.
Infact, sometimes, while writing, one shifts off the track, but this approach of getting deviated too has a reason and that reason is the whirlpool of scenarios being in vogue as is in a place like Kashmir. Anyway, I was supposed to write on ”News Pollution” I don’t know upto what extent I did justice with the title and if at all the editor will keep the same title for this piece of write up. So far, we have come to know about water pollution, air pollution and noise pollution etc. All these pollutions cause panic and exhaustion to the people. But perhaps now we all have got trapped in the news pollution, which has various dimensions and is more dangerous than all other pollutions.
News Pollution, world over, may be another growing threat to human psychology but conflict zones of the world are the worst hit.
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