Today is the second consecutive day when newspapers were not allowed to be published in Kashmir. I am surprised that this censorship is going on with no opposition from media fraternity in rest of the country. So far I have seen only one statement denouncing this gag by Editors Guild but where are others, why there are no demonstrations, why senior journalists and editors are silent on this.
When few journalists were beaten up and obstructed to do their journalistic work by goons in Patiala House Court we came on streets in numbers of hundreds and gave a strong message that any attempt to muzzle free speech is not acceptable. There was no direct involvement of state in that violence though the ruffians had blessings from people in power. But in Kashmir it is the state government which has read the riot act on media freedom. Police have arrested newspaper employees, metallic plates of the newspapers were seized to prevent publication, printed copies were seized and hawkers were stopped and terrorized.
It is time that we should stand firmly with the journalists of Kashmir in defense of their rights and with the people who have right to be informed.
There is a significant change the way this part of India views Kashmir and the anger and frustration prevailing in valley. Thankfully this time the voice of reason is seen in Parliament and in leader pages of newspapers. Karan Singh is right when he says that when we say Kashmir is part of India then we must also share the pain and sufferings the people of state are undergoing. He also talked about disproportionate use of force and bindings of many young men and women.