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PRC survey rattles separatists in Kashmir
60% Indians for hard-line
11/23/2017 10:53:59 PM
Early Times Report

JAMMU, Nov 23: The latest survey report made public by the American-based Pew Research Centre (PRC) regarding opinion of Indians on the restive and militant-infested Kashmir has rattled separatists and their supporters in the Valley and outside. The survey report has said that "over 60 per cent Indians favour hard-line stance in Kashmir and believe that Indian government should use military force in dealing with the situation in the valley". This finding by the PRC has made separatists and their think-tanks sit up and decide future course of action.
They are asking a question: "Why does Indian public think of Kashmir in terms of a military operation?" and, at the same time, holding Indian news channels responsible for painting the Kashmiri separatists black and for "inculcating this abhorrent approach" Another question they are face to face with is: "What can be the potential long term impact of such a public opinion on Indian government's policies in Kashmir?"
"A large section of Indian media is responsible for making the Indians think of Kashmir in terms of a military campaign by inculcating a sense of prejudice and thereby allowing the successive governments to pursue a hard-line on the issue," they are openly saying and opining. They are also adding that "media has a powerful influence on public opinion and government policies" and riding on this argument, it's safe to say that the perception of a common Indian about Kashmir has been, to a large extent, shaped by what the media presented".
"They have been made to believe that Kashmir is all about the 'proxy war' waged by Pakistan. They have been kept ignorant about the true nature of the conflict where a common Kashmiri suffers the most. The myopic perspective offered by Indian media over the years has crystallized in the form of a dangerous public opinion on Kashmir," they are, in addition, saying in Kashmir.
The upshot of their whole argument is like this: "Political experts have attributed the political unrest in Kashmir to the mistakes committed by successive regimes at the Centre. However, one of the major reasons as to why these mistakes were repeated is because the Indian media always chose to show the Indian public less than the whole truth about Kashmir. Kashmir is portrayed only from a state perspective and security-sovereignty prism, relegating the concerns of Kashmiris to invisibility. Statements of politicians and military and intelligence reports find more space than the lives of ordinary Kashmiris who ultimately have to bear the consequences of the ill-informed public opinion".
The critics of the media conveniently overlook the fact that over three lakh Kashmiri Hindus, who quit the Valley in 1990, have spread all across the country and narrating their woeful tales to the people there. Their presence in different parts of India and outside, including in UK and US, has its impact on the opinion-makers, as also on the sections of the Indian media. But more than that, an impression has gone down across the country that the nature of the ongoing movement in Kashmir is purely religious and not political, as the political power has been the sole preserve of Kashmiri Muslims ever since October 1947, when J&K acceded to India.
Kashmiri separatists themselves are responsible for the kind of negative publicity they are getting by making highly inflammatory statements, including their statements against the suggestions seeking the creation of Kashmiri Hindu and Sainik colonies in the Valley.
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