Intro: Indian Media should not hesitate to inform people that when responsible leaders of political outfits like the Hurriyat conference and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front were nowhere to be seen during the aftermath of the floods in Jammu and Kashmir, hundreds of volunteers of organisations like Sewa Bharti, VHP, RSS and ABVP were working tirelessly to save people’s life and provide relief to the victims.
Two weeks have passed yet larger part of the Kashmir Valley is still reeling in the aftermath of floods. Till now, about 2 to 3 lakh people have been rescued by the Indian Army and teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). The life saving role played by Indian Army has been hailed across the globe. Countering the goodwill generated among people for the Army, separatists stage-managed a few stone pelting incidents and these were hyped disproportionally by media houses. To create the illusion of mass support to these stone pelting incidents, part of media (sympathetic to separatists) tried to map the anger expressed and led to delay in the rescue operations. But because Army’s effort has been appreciated worldwide, if at all there is a need to express anger at someone, it has to be against the State government which failed miserably in the time of need, and not the Army.
Hidden during the peak hours of calamity, the separatist leaders are now busy snatching relief boats meant to save the life of Valley people. Facing the odds in the aftermath of floods, for the first time, the people of Valley have personally witnessed the professional, patriotic and humanitarian face of the Army. The outlook of the people earlier influenced by the separatist ideology has also changed, as for the first time, they’ve got the chance to judge Army by their own and not by separatists’ eyes. Being at the forefront and projecting themselves as the only saviours of Kashmiri people, the separatists have left no stone unturned to defame Indian Army-Desperate to defame Army/Central Government, the separatists are even accusing them of discrimination on the grounds of religion. Although there are a few to buy their rhetoric, but still a section of the media need to be aware of the fact that already fighting for the survival, the separatists, have begun to see the dead end to all their propagandistic machinery after the goodwill attained by the Army. Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Government has also developed cold feet; head of the government, Omar Abdullah, throws a new excuse every day. So called representatives of Kashmiriyat- the Hurriyat conference that was nowhere to be seen during the floods has suddenly surfaced to save its image.
Hence, the media should not hesitate to inform people that when responsible leaders of political outfits like the Hurriyat conference and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front were nowhere to be seen during the aftermath of the floods in J&K, hundreds of volunteers of organisations like Sewa Bharti, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) are working tirelessly to save people’s life and to provide relief to the victims. VHP is busy providing free medical aid camps and Sewa Bharti is serving victims by all available means. Apart from serving in camps and on the ground, the volunteers of RSS and ABVP are working hard to carry essentials to the flood hit areas and are running information centers to help Valley people.
With hundreds of information channels across the nation, now slowly plans are shifting towards relief operations. Financial assistance for relief operations continues to pour in. With all this in mind, Supreme Court on 15 September asked Centre and J&K government not to restrict its focus to Srinagar only. “The entire focus is on Srinagar. No focus is there on other districts. They are as bad as Srinagar and condition in some other districts is worse. I don’t think efforts (in other districts) are like what has been done in Srinagar,” the Chief Justice of India (CJI) said.
As relief work begins in J&K, many voices in the public are advocating Governor’s Rule in the state. Infact, disappointed with the government, people have also started demanding that the relief work should also be handled by the Army. Seems reasonable!
– Arvind (The writer is a researcher at J&K Study Centre, New Delhi)