[Reader-list] Mass Graves in Kashmir
yousufism at gmail.com
Sat Apr 12 22:33:29 IST 2008
TRAGEDIES BURIED IN KASHMIR GRAVES
On 4/12/08, Shuddhabrata Sengupta <shuddha at sarai.net> wrote:
> Dear all,
> at a friends urging, I did a short google search using the string
> "Nameless Graves Kashmir" and I came up with a first 30 pages of
> reports. There were stories in newspapers based in Kashmir like
> Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Times of course, and stories in the
> International Herald Tribune, in newspapers out of Ireland, Taiwan,
> Pakistan and elsewhere, besides numerous blog posts and forwards on
> lists. The only Indian newspapers of any consequence that featured
> the story (I tracked this till the 30th google page) were -
> Punjab Kesri
> The Telegraph, Kolkata
> The Economic Times
> DNA, Mumbai
> (all more or less 'regional/city' publications) Barring Outlook. None
> of the national dailies, or big news channels seem to have anything.
> I have already listed the Hindustan Times story in the previous
> posting. This frugality of media attention is surprising, given the
> seriousness of the story.
> I spent some time on the Indian Express website, and here is what I
> The Indian Express's micro website - www.kashmirlive.com - which is
> tagged - "Coverage from the Largest news bureau in the valley" and
> which offers 'latest Kashmir news' has no report on the mass graves.
> It does have a photograph, (in the section titled 'Gallery' by Javed
> Shah, that is captioned - 'participant at a rally for displaced
> persons in Srinagar' and one can make out from the banner that it
> carries the words 'missing' and that it is clearly organized by the
> 'Association of the Parents of Disappeared Persons' - the
> organization that has brought out the report called 'Facts
> Underground' which highlights the anonymous graves. The dateline of
> the photograph, and the contents of the image suggest that the event
> must have to do with the APDPs report (titled 'Facts Underground' )
> on the 'nameless graves'
> But the Indian Express's editorial policy, no doubt a fine example of
> a case of the hihgly restrained realization of its credo of
> 'journalism of courage', transformed 'disappearance' into
> 'displacement', and omits to give any indication of what the rally is
> all about. In fact, given that the term 'displacement' is usually
> identified with the internal migration of Kashmiri Pundits, a casual
> reader may even think (simply from reading the caption to the
> photograph) that this may be referring to 'displaced' Kashmiris, ie,
> Kashmiri Pandits.
> In fact the 10 top stories in the Indian Express's dedicated micro
> site for news about Kashmir are as follows -
> 1.Civilian killed after being mistaken for a militant
> 2. First Kashmiri Maj Gen asks youth to join army
> 3. Sonia Gandhi to visit Kashmiri migrant camp
> 4. J-K spends Rs 15 crore on road upgradation project
> 5. Traffic awareness campaign to be launched
> 6. 21,000 vacancies to be filled by fast-track recruitment
> 7. NC at the forefront of anti-Kashmiri tirade: PDP
> 8. Former ultras float seperatist political outfit
> 9. Bomb squad destroys fuse safely
> 10. Valley expects heavy influx of tourists
> You would have thought that the "largest" news bureau in the valley,
> would have the human resources to folllow up on a story that refers
> to the remains of the bodies of 940 nameless people.
> The Hindu (known for the imaginative journalism of one Praveen Swami
> on Kashmir , recently discussed on one of the postings) features only
> one recent report on Kashmir - about a youth found guilty of
> impersonation and fraud.
> How much courage does it take for the Journalism of Courage to get
> its act together. I am not making a special case for the Indian
> Express - the Hindu, the Times of India, NDTV, CNN-IBN all seem
> complicit in the generation of a very loud silence.
> Does any one know why this is the case? I am currently not in Delhi
> and so, cannot get a sense of what is causing this strange silence.
> Would really like to know what other people think is actually going on.
> On 12-Apr-08, at 6:04 PM, Shuddhabrata Sengupta wrote:
> > Dear All,
> > This is in continuation of Junaid's posting of April 7 : 'Amnesty
> > International and Human Rights Watch slam Indian human rights abuses
> > in Kashmir' . The posting pointed out the recent discovery of mass
> > graves containing the remains of Nine hundred and forty unidentified
> > bodies in different sites in Kashmir.
> > If the allegations that these are bodies of people killed and
> > disposed of by the security forces, and that they may contain the
> > remains of many who are alleged to have 'disappeared' in Kashmir are
> > true, then this constitutes a very serious matter.
> > Here are three recent reports that have appeared on the BBC website
> > on the subject.
> > 1. Protest over graves in Kashmir
> > http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7343454.stm
> > 2. Kashmir police refuse body demand
> > http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7325001.stm
> > 3. Amnesty urges Kashmir grave probe
> > http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7334965.stm
> > I have not seen too many reports in the mainstream 'indian' media
> > about this - I could be wrong, and would like to be corrected, but
> > preliminary google searches about the subject in connection with The
> > Hindu, The Times of India, The Indian Express, NDTV and CNN-IBN did
> > not yield any results.
> > The only exception in the mainstream 'Indian' media that I could find
> > was a report by Rashid Ahmad from Srinagar in the Hindustan Times.
> > The story is titled -
> > Mass graves in Kashmir raise rights violation stink
> > Rashid Ahmad, Hindustan Times
> > Srinagar, March 29, 2008
> > http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?
> > id=eb572d05-2d48-4604-99a0-1fc154e2c914&MatchID1=4680&TeamID1=6&TeamID
> > 2=
> > 3&MatchType1=1&SeriesID1=1179&PrimaryID=4680&Headline=Mass+graves
> > +raise+rights+violation+stink
> > if the general media silence in India about this shocking story is a
> > fact. (Again, I hope I am wrong here). Then it is time to ask what
> > makes it possible for Indian newspapers and television stations to
> > report mass graves in Iraq and Bosnia and suddenly turn all coy when
> > they are found in Indian administered Kashmir.
> > Further, is it time to think about what steps may be necessary to
> > take to move towards a boycott of the forthcoming Commonwealth Games
> > in Delhi (2010)? (Among other things).
> > Perhaps there are lessons to be learnt from the Tibetans.
> > best
> > Shuddha
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> Shuddhabrata Sengupta
> The Sarai Programme at CSDS
> Raqs Media Collective
> shuddha at sarai.net
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