September 18, 2018
Exposing true conditions in Held Kashmir
India has revoked Al-Jazeera TV’s security clearance, stoking fears that the channel could be banned in the country. This has happened as the TV channel showed the true picture of held Kashmir in a documentary. The security clearance was granted by the Indian government in 2010.
The Indian establishment perhaps believes the channel portrays India in negative light. For example, it has reported: “Once Vidarbha was known for its cotton or white gold production, but now the region is mostly known as the suicide belt of India. According to Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), a non-governmental organisation that has been documenting the suicide of farmers for the past 15 years, approximately 6,000 farmers have killed themselves since 2012 in six districts of Vidarbha region – Amravati, Yavatmal, Wardha, Washim, Akola and Buldhana. The situation is the same in the nearby region of Marathwada. Even a debt of 10,000 rupees ($150) is enough to push a farmer over the edge. Young farmers aged between 18 and 30 accounted for the second-highest number of suicides, leaving widows and children to cope with the consequences. The poor and marginal farmers fall into the clutches of moneylenders, who charge exorbitant rates of interest, which the farmers are unable to repay, thus pushing them into perpetual debt that leads to the spate of suicides.”
The Al-Jazeera has also reported about India: “According to the various national statistics, between 40,000-45,000 children are reported missing in India each year. In Assam state, hundreds of similar incidents of child disappearances are a daily reality. According to a report from Assam’s Crime Investigation Department, released during a seminar on children’s rights in October, at least 4,754 children in Assam have gone missing since 2012, of whom 2,753 are girls. Child trafficking for labour and sexual exploitation are among the main reasons. The report said that in the past year alone, at least 129 girls were forced into prostitution by traffickers. Assam’s history of economic underdevelopment and ethnic tensions has made a large section of its population vulnerable to trafficking.”
Then to the consternation of the Indian government, the channel highlighted the death of three children in the Indian capital New Delhi due to malnourishment. “India’s public was in shock on Thursday as authorities confirmed three children starved to death in the national capital of the fastest-growing economy in the world. Mansi, 8, Shikha, 4, and two-year-old Parul were declared dead in a New Delhi hospital on Tuesday, bringing malnourishment and hunger within India into sharp focus. The disbelief was so great that authorities opted for a second postmortem to confirm the children had indeed died of starvation. Police accounts said the children were left to fend for themselves because their father, Mangal Singh, was missing and their mother, Beena, struggled with “mental health issues. The forensic test that was done at our hospital clearly suggests the children who were looking marasmic died of hunger. The pictures depicted gross malnutrition, there was no hint of fat anywhere on their bodies, Dr Amita Saxena, medical superintendent at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital in New Delhi, told Al Jazeera.”
The Kashmir issue has gotten on the nerves of the Indian establishment, especially after the HR report by the UN commissioner, which exposed the brutality of Indian forces. The world generally knows about the true picture in the Valley though economic interests in most cases unfortunately supersede human rights issues.