Through out time, newspapers and media have been there to tell we laypeople the stories of the day, the ongoing conflicts, the latest actions of so-and-so, the doings of those in charge, and what have you. But as you and I well know, more often than not, these individuals telling us the information we desperately want are putting out only what they’re allowed to say by the strings of governmental organizations, powerful contributors, or the party in power. And in the Valley, nay across the subcontinent even, this is an all-too-common occurrence. I, for the most part, tried to turn a blind eye to these happenings in hopes that maybe via the internet this all could be curbed.
About two years back I started a blog of sorts, nonsensical words about life, liberty, and the pursuit of property, usually having something or another to do with Kashmir or Islam. Unfortunately, my site wasn’t getting a lot of hits, even with my best efforts to promote it. So I decided that I’d send an article or two to some local papers in Srinagar with the hopes that it would generate interest in my work. I chose a paper that most everyone in the Vale read. And it worked.
But then I started noticing something. The only things that were accepted were what I’d like to call docile and harmless contributions, or if anything slightly alarming managed to creep by the censor, it had been edited to the point that the flow of thought was completely thrown off. Some pieces were so poorly amended that earlier musings that were stated to be clarified later in the article were cut out, leaving the reader at a loss for what was really being said. For want of increased traffic to my site, I began to write so-called ‘fluff’ pieces along side my more serious and straightforward essays with the hopes that people would come to read them.
I became increasingly frustrated with what would be considered innocuous enough to be printed. A paper on the drawbacks of smoking was considered too inflammatory. Anything critical of the government was a no-go. Scrutinies of questionable religious actions in response to world wide events were trashed. With every piece published, I became more and more disillusioned. Just what was I allowing to happen? Why wasn’t anyone doing anything about this? What could I do about this?
Most everyone said that it couldn’t be helped, this is the way things had always been, and that my pouting over it would do precious little to help. I knew their words to be true, but it did nothing to mitigate my fears. Such mind control, such propaganda, and such blatant misdirection, that too by the hands of our own. I only wish that news source would flourish with the truth, free from the relentless pursuits and wanton desires of the powers that be. Alas! Would that we all could work together and realize our potential. Only then would some worth come to our being.