UK media’s coverage on Kashmir HR abuse evokes massive response


The horrendous tales of torture and mass graves in Kashmir brought to light by British media few days ago have received a positive feedback from Kashmiri citizens and media professionals in particular.
Two popular media outlets in UK, The Guardian and Channel 4, published an article and aired a documentary, talking about Kashmir being one of the most under reported conflicts on earth.
This has probably happened for the first time in the history of media reportage on the Kashmir conflict, that foreign media has come out on the Kashmir issue, with the big brass of UK media tweeting their views on the conflict.
However, a leading national daily questioned the very credibility of these reports, sensing that UK’s media might be running propaganda against India. The report in the national daily says, “The lacuna in the programme, though, was that no neutral party, let alone authorities in J&K or at the Centre were given an opportunity to express their point of view. Strangely, the production team was in the Kashmir valley at the time of last year’s stone-pelting incidents in which over a hundred youths were killed. There are questions being asked whether they were tipped off by those who planned the demonstrations.”
Internationally acclaimed journalists, on the other hand, are all for UK media’s new found support for the Kashmir issue.
Jon Snow, a popular anchor with Channel 4 says, “Utterly MUST SEE FILM on one of the most under reported conflicts on earth: ‘Kashmir’s Torture Trail’, 11.10pm, Tuesday, C4:”
Tony Smith, a video journalist with BBC news, shares his experience, “Did this story 18 yrs ago (and won an Amnesty gong). Sad it’s still going on.”
Kashmiri born London based journalist and author of The Collaborator, Mirza Waheed opines, “Watching ‘Kashmir’s Torture Trail’ on Channel 4; devastating, damning evidence of widespread torture by Indian forces. A sad, sad night.”
Jonathan Miller, Foreign Affairs Correspondent with Channel 4 News says, “Award-winning documentary team brings us grim tidings from under-reported Kashmir tonight. Kashmir’s Torture Trail.”
On July 10, UK’s leading newspaper, The Guardian ran an extensive story on the mysterious disappearances, custodial killings and subsequent disclosure of mass graves in Kashmir that took place since the eruption of violence in late 80s.
These series of reports have also pitched national media against international media, with a leading national daily blaming reportage by UK’s media, as being biased and not taking into account stories from the Indian administration and Security forces into consideration.
The backlash does not end there. Kashmir based media personnel are also expressing their opinions as to why national media is discrediting international reportage on Kashmir.
“What is wrong with human rights issues being brought to the surface, and if famed journalists are talking about it? For so many years, these voices have been muzzled and Indian media has decided to choose non-serious issues over human rights violations in Kashmir. If they are now sensing UK’s current reportage on Kashmir as a part of propaganda, then that has been their problem for decades.” a Kashmiri journalist wishing anonymity expressed.