Concerned over “critical” news coverage on Indian-administered Kashmir, New Delhi has ordered its diplomats and officials to devise a strategy to counter the concerns of the international community over the Indian government’s actions in the valley.
Quoting an Indian diplomat, The Hindu reported that the Indian mission abroad have been directed to “proactively” keep the Indian narrative on Kashmir “positive”.
On August 5, India had ended Kashmir’s autonomous status and it has since then detained over 5,000 people, including two former chief ministers. Mobile phones and the internet are still suspended in the valley.
An official said that the Indian government was particularly concerned over a series of articles published in international publications, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC, The Economist, The Independent and The Guardian.
“The government had been monitoring them closely,” The Hindu quoted the official as saying.
Quoting a survey, the Indian newspaper reported that over 80% of the news coverage on Indian Kashmir was critical of the government’s move.
Indian media is promoting the government’s narrative
Hartosh Singh Bal, a senior Indian journalist, said that the Indian media is showing a picture of normalcy in Kashmir. He told DW that it is trying to “create an impression that life for Kashmiris is back on track”.
“The government is controlling the narrative and a pliant, nationalistic mainstream press is happy to play along,” the journalist said.
In her article in the Washington Post, another Indian journalist Rana Ayyub wrote that the people of Kashmir were angry with the Indian press over its coverage on the valley.
Ayyub said that a young man in Indian-administered Kashmir’s Parigaam area screamed at her driver and told them to leave when he was told that they were from the media.
“Do you guys have any shame?” he yelled at them. “You journalists dance on television that everything is normal here while we are being killed and silenced. Our children are in jail and have disappeared and you tell the world that all is good, that we are rejoicing!”