Kashmir, Human Rights And The Indian Press

IN Books | 08/09/2002
TABLE- II

 

TABLE- II
A comparative quantitative analysis of the official sources of news reports on Kashmir
(1 December 1991-29 February 1992)

Official

Sources

December

January

February

Total

Grand Total

 

TTOI

IE

TH

TTOI

IE

TH

TTOI

IE

TH

TTOI

IE

TH

 

Indian

12

7

14

24

15

16

32

17

43

68

39

73

180

Pakistani

1

-

1

1

-

1

3

6

5

5

6

7

18

Kashmiri

1

-

2

1

1

-

3

2

5

5

3

7

15

Others

3

-

1

3

1

-

3

4

2

9

5

3

17

Total

17

7

18

29

17

17

41

29

55

87

53

90

230


*TTOI - The Times of India (Bombay); IE-Indian Express (Kochi); TH - The Hindu (Coimbatore)


It is indeed thought provoking that reports on the actual situation in Kashmir quoting such sources as the ordinary people of the Valley, the militants or Pakistani officials are extremely scarce, while there is no dearth of quotations from Indian Government sources on Kashmir. Even more interesting is the fact that, although very often headlines are in effect statements by Government officials, many of them do not bear quotation marks or any other signs to depict them as such, thereby misleading the reader into believing them to be actual facts. In today¿s busy world, news reports are often only skimmed through, and it is the headlines and front-page block items which are retained in the subconscious mind. The dominance of a particular image therefore, leaves a correspondingly strong impression in the minds of the readers.

Deaths and ¿encounters¿


Most of the news reports/straight news on Kashmir relate to deaths and ¿encounters¿ in the Valley, largely quoting official sources. The focus of attention is primarily on either the deaths/capture of militants, or the deaths/ attacks on security forces by the militants. Incidents of the violation of the human rights of ordinary citizens by either the militants or the security forces are completely neglected. Even in those reports where some mention is made of civilians in this context, they are only passing references in reports focusing on ¿ultras¿, or ¿militants¿ or ¿security forces¿. Only the discerning reader can glean some understanding of the actual situation by a careful reading between the lines. This trend can

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