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Indian govt, media insensitive to Kashmiris’ woes: Minister

Srinagar, April 08, 2013 (PPI-OT): Indian Union Minister for Rural Development, Jairam Ramesh has acknowledged that Indian spy agencies are dictating New Delhi’s Kashmir policy and the Indian government is not sensitive to the aspirations of the people of Kashmir.

At the end of a two-day trip to the Valley, the first by any Indian minister since Afzal Guru’s hanging in February, Ramesh in a media interview in Srinagar said that the time was now ripe for good politics and growth “What Kashmir needs is the right political engagement, not a strategy influenced by spy agencies and forces.”

“We are not showing enough sensitivity to the Kashmiris, who suffer suspicion and humiliation in our cities,” he said.

Ramesh, 58, who has been a columnist, sometimes under his pen-name Kautilya, for leading Indian publications like Times of India, The Telegraph, India Today, The Business Standard and Business Today said that Indian media too was not sensitive about Kashmir. “Indian media is xenophobic and jingoistic,” said Ramesh, “Indian electronic media in particular is ultra-nationalistic.”

Meanwhile, the Chairman of Press Council of India (PCI), Markandey Katju addressing a symposium on ‘Reporting Terror: How Sensitive is the media?” organised by an English daily in Hyderabad also rebuked the Indian media for demonizing Muslim community through irresponsible journalism.

“Whenever a bomb blast occurs or such incident takes place, within an hour or so many TV channels start showing that an email or SMS has come from the Indian Mujahideen, JeM or Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami, or some Muslim name, claiming responsibility,” he added.

“An email or SMS can be sent by any mischievous person, but you start screening this on TV same moment and next day it is all around in the print. The certain message you are sending is that all Muslims are terrorists and they having nothing to do except to throw bombs. You are demonizing entire Muslim community and promoting communalism,” Katju said.

For more information, contact:
Kashmir Media Service
Email: info@kmsnews.org
Phone: 92-51-4435548, 4435549
Fax: 92-51-4861736

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