David Devadas in New Delhi

From Hindustan Times: “The Kashmir Stories

“As if they were characters in Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon, the people of Kashmir, Omar Abdullah’s government, and people across much of India view what’s occurred in Kashmir from perspectives that make each the victim-hero of their respective versions.”

“Kashmiris generally don’t see stone-pelters as law-breakers but as expressing the community’s indignation against such incidents — and others, such as the killing of three boys at Machil a few months ago. They were lured to an army camp with promises of lucrative work, killed and declared to have been militants. Officers of the army unit got cash bonuses worth lakhs of rupees — and a better shot at promotions and medals. The incident is being investigated, but there was enough preliminary evidence for two officers to be removed from their posts.”

“One reason for the tragic divergence in discourse, within Kashmir and across the country, is ‘media management’ since the late 90s — by both the BJP and the Congress. Since the space for insightful, critical reporting has shrunk, most Indians react with fear-filled amazement to explosions of public anger.”

“Over the past couple of weeks, the Centre has tried to ‘handle’ this year’s uprising through Goebbelsian propaganda; facts were fabricated or exaggerated. Srinagar newspaper offices were starved of electricity and prevented from functioning, local correspondents of some national TV channels couldn’t leave their offices even at night, criminal charges were slapped on a couple of them, local reporters were beaten on the streets, and their curfew passes torn up.”

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