Humbug of Media objectivity and Kashmir

By Aditya Rangroo

Today Indian media, the traditional fourth estate, is capable of demonstrating its power as an influential instrument to shape public opinion and circumscribe the government. One of the several facets of media includes media activism. From some time, it has become noteworthy, particularly in addressing subjects like social security and good governance. For example, bringing criminals and anti-social elements into the gaze of the public and law enforcing agencies is its commendable contribution. In this context the tragic murder cases of Priya Darshani Matto and Jessica Lal make good examples. In mobilizing public opinion in a vast country like India, the power and freedom exercised by the media can work miracles which even a totalitarian arrangement may not achieve. It has given a new face and meaning to her secular democratic ethos.

But having said that it should also be pointed out that the freedom provided by our democratic dispensation is sometimes over-stretched to cross the admissible limits of ethics supposed to regulate its functionality.

The history of the privileges of the press and media in India goes to 1946 when B.R. Ambedkar declared in the Constituent Assembly Debates that editors or top management of a press were all citizens, and when they chose to write in news-papers, they merely exercise their individual right of expression. Therefore, no special mention of rights and laws were specifically designed for the fourth pillar. Media systems in the world vary from one another according to the economy, polity, religion and culture of the country. In countries, which follow communism and totalitarianism like the former USSR and China, there are certain restrictions on what media wants to report about the government. Very often its freedom was gagged. On the contrary, in countries like USA, which have a bourgeois democracy, media censorship is not much of an issue. In a country like India, the media with its immense freedom has retained its incisive and eloquent expression albeit only in some specific social or economic areas.

It is rather agonizing to note that in some areas of national and historical importance, India media adopts casual and slipshod attitude ostensibly because of political pressures and constraints. In the case of entire internally displaced religious minority of Kashmiri Pandits, the Indian press, by and large, has not been either realistic or sympathetic. This issues touches on the very core of India’s secular and democratic structure. As against this, some high profile issues receive extraordinary media hype. The mass displacement of this oppressed chunk has been severely under-reported. It has crippling effect on their future and their rehabilitation.

The story dates back to September 14, 1989 when Tika Lal Taploo, a Kashmiri Pandit and BJP provincial chief candidate from the Valley was gunned down by Islamic terrorists outside the gate of his house in Srinagar. No print or electronic media carried the story effectively. This followed by selective killings of many of their members, and thus the exodus of nearly 350,000 terrified and brutalized members of Pandit community from their millennia old homeland. Yet the media failed them miserably and did not give proper coverage to such mass exodus. The news pertaining to the Valley usually revolves round terrorism and cross-border infiltration and may also report on the of the majority community only.

It is amusing to note that incidents of communal violence and friction occurring in other parts of the country are extensively and intensively covered rather with overdone zeal.. Godhra riot is one such incident where media was applauded for producing dozens of stories about alleged predicament and suppression of minority community before and after the riots. Journalists engaged themselves in brain-storming sessions to produce the story from all imaginable angles. Popular news channels like NDTV, Zee News and CNN-IBN were buzzing with many special stories exaggerating the “oppression” on minority community in the state of Gujarat. Even national dailies like the Times of India, Hindustan Times, and The Hindu etc gave good share of space to it. Editorials and Opinions were published profusely slamming Chief Minister Narendra Modi, BJP government and the Right Wing parties. If media can volunteer to be pro-active for a certain section of civil society why should ignore identical situations at other places? Why media has been unfriendly to the cause of Kashmiri Pandits, remains to be answered. The question is why did the media deny platform to the oppressed community of Kashmiri Pandits to voice their grievances and inform Indian nation of scurvy treatment meted out to them.

Media has given good coverage to issues like demolition of Babri Masjid, reformation of Muslim minority community of India, women empowerment, judicial system etc but whenever some voice against Kashmir insurgency and Pandit killings were raised, media turned its head away from it. The killing of 23 innocent Pandits in Vandhama village of Kashmir in 1998 was never attributed as front page headline but killing of Sohrab-ud Din in Gujarat found crowds of buyers both in print and electronic media. It was media that conducted several debate shows and sms poll for social uplifting of minority community. But it never voiced its opinion for abolishing Article 370 of the Constitution which is responsible for the alienation of Kashmiris. There have been special stories, documentaries and chat-shows highlighting the life of Kashmiri nation, but there has not been a single telecast or story on Kashmiri Pandits living in destitution in camps in Jammu, Udhampur and other parts of the country,

Recently, Kashmiri Pandits protested against Election Commission during parliamentary elections 2009. They were complaining of hurdles created by the State Election Commission in their way of exercising their right to vote. They said that only a small number of eligible voters were enlisted. In Jammu Pandit protesters were attacked by the police. The media ignored the protests, lathi charge, imprisonment and prosecution of some of the protesters asking for their right to vote. It is a sad commentary on the impartiality of the media in our country.

Media, which is supposed to work as watchdog, has turned into a lapdog catering to the policy and line of the establishment. In the case of Kashmiri Pandits it chose to remain a silent spectator. Powerful and disinterested media would have compelled the government to institute a commission of inquiry into the killing and exodus of Kashmiri Pandits in 1990. It would have exposed the militant and separatist leaders like those of the APHC and the JKLF so that they would be dealt with in accordance with the law of the land. Everybody knows who killed 5 Indian Air Force personnel in Rawalpora in J & K in 1990 when they were standing at a bus stop waiting for the bus to carry them to their office. Bitta Karate, a Kashmiri terrorist confessed in a television interview having killed more than 22 Kashmiri Pandits. The court has given him parole. The media was reluctant to take up the issue. The reason, of course, is “vested interest”.

Media has always acts vigorously on issues which increase their TRP and readership. It has neither been pro nor anti to any political party but always been pro-establishment, which can be examined on the kind of coverage of Gujjar agitation in BJP-ruled state of Rajasthan in 2008 and the riots in Kandhamal in Orissa, which had BJP-BJD coalition government. News channels were flooded with debate-shows on Kandhamal and newspapers were galore with stories and editorials relating to anti-right wing parties. However, the same media relapsed into deep slumber when Kashmiri Pandits needed platform to voice their agony during armed insurgency.

(The writer was the Journalist in Press Trust of India, and currently a student of MA Media and Globalization from Nottingham Trent University).

From the trenches

By Aditya Rangroo

War and warriors have been glorified heroically in ballads through the ages. Dying for the cause of one’s country regardless of its consequences on the either side of the firing line is considered the ultimate sacrifice. A soldier’s profession is regarded as noble. The perception is that any protest against war is unpatriotic. The death of enemy combatant is celebrated and the casualty of civilians is a ‘collateral damage’.

After the year 2004, there has been an unprecedented surge in conflicts all over the world, Congo War (comprising nine African nations), India (persisting Kashmir, Assam, and Naxalite insurgency), Algeria (Muslim fundamentalist insurgency), and Myanmar (ethnic minority insurgency) are some of the examples. Continue Reading…

Letter for the editor – Daily Excelsior

(Written by Aditya Rangroo, London, on March 2, 2010)

Dear Sir,
This is with refrence to ‘India target of 313 Brigade (DE 2 March) by Dr. K.N. Pandita. After reading this article, I and others like me now understand why the Indian side during the recent foreign secretaries meeting in New Delhi on 25 February presented the third dossier to Pakistan, which brought to light the terrorist activites of a Pakistani national Ilyas Kashmiri, and demanded that he is handed over to New Delhi. Since Paksitan as well as the US-Nato troops are asking for the blood of Ilyas Kashmiri, Pakistan should have no reason to dismiss this particular dossier and say that what India has presented is “literature”. We know that what Pak foreign minister Mr. Bashir said in his press conference was mostly for home consumption as the Pakistanis are always fed on anti-India propaganda. But that the intelligence agencies of the two countries are in contact behind the curtain, it is hoped that Ilyas Kashmiri will be apprehended as early as possible and charges brought against him by India will be substantiated.

Youth and Drugs

By Aditya Rangroo

Use of drugs is not a recent phenomenon. Use of opium is reported in ancient societies. The Chinese were one called a nation of opium eaters. It was taken as sedative.

The British colonialists in China made the use of opium as a political weapon in early 19th century. They did not want the Chinese people become actively political and thus let the British derive economic benefits, as they liked.

In a sense, the greed of commercial benefit has resurfaced in modern times. But it is not limited to the colonial powers as was the case then. It has proliferated to other countries and communities.

The youth are the prime victim. The reason is simple. They are attracted more frequently than the elders to something novel and exciting. – Commercial factor is in place.

The youth generally want to copy what they see in the films. The filmmakers want to introduce new themes to make their films a success. They do not think of the adverse effect wrong things can have on the youth. As youth want entertainment, they see the films and copy the scenes.

Continue Reading…

Social integration and the media

By Aditya Rangroo.

A society is a conglomerate of identities. There is hardly a homogeneous society in our world. Human beings are mobile and interacting. Wars and conquests, natural calamities, trade and commerce and love for adventure have been the catalyst for heterogeneity of societies.

This diversity throws up the important question of integrating these diversifying identities into a unity of sorts. This phenomenon is generally expressed by the attractive term of “unity in diversity”. To some political thinkers this dream can be realized by aiming at and working towards higher and spiritual goals of humanism. However, skeptics express doubts about the fecundity of the concept, and argue that integration will always wear the mask of superficiality.

Perhaps it will be safer to tread a middle path. While identities are stay put in their parameters, their cooperation and cohesion in carrying the society forward as a single mass of humanity should not be really forbidding.

We are talking of integration and not of assimilation. Integration of these identities is a matter of reasoned cooperation among the players. In a prospect of integration, the units do not lose their identity and individuality. In assimilation they do. In today’s social structure, emphasis is on integration meaning thereby that while the State remains the one-unit piece, its federating options are not denied.

Continue Reading…

Shadow of an Angel

By Aditya Rangroo

Scourage time has made mark,
Everyone has left me in dark,
An unknown shadow, I have seen,
My heart professes it, in all mean.

Tears shed in large,
Gruesome nights took charge,
An unknown shadow hasn’t gone,
Hallmark time surprisingly got on.

Alleviations have vanished impetuously,
Writhes took place swiftly,
An unknown shadow gave me an eternal warm,
I relieved and gained back my old charm.

Sorrows took charge of my life,
Hostility marched to cide me with knife,
Clandestinely, inner voice whispered me,
I realized, an unknown shadow’s an angel to me,
Which is always there to save me?

More dialogues, no solutions

Published in the Daily Times, Lahore, Pakistan, 20 September 2005

Sir: President Pervez Musharraf held talks with Dr Manmohan Singh and George Bush for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute. Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq also met President Musharraf in New York in this regard. This is going to be another round of dialogue. Earlier, the Hurriyat had held talks with the Kashmiri Pandits’ Association and discussed the issue with Dr Singh.

A few months ago, President Musharraf said that given the political will the Kashmir issue could be resolved in two weeks. Those two weeks have yet to begin. On the other hand, the Hurriyat leaders have projected themselves as ‘mediators between the two nations’ but their interest is restricted apparently to the heartless dialogue over a cup of tea. It is strange that not a single member from the minority community has been involved in any of these dialogues. Kashmir is the homeland of the Pandits. However, they have been left out from the process. It seems there are more dialogues on the table than solutions in anyone’s mind.

ADITYA RANGROO
India

Back to school

Published in The Asian Age, 12 Aug, 2005

Sir,
Trinamul Congress leader Mamata Banerjee’s deplorable behaviour in Parliament — throwing paper at the deputy speaker of the Lok Sabha — was shocking (Mamata behaves like herself, August 5). Being a seasoned politician she should be aware that her behaviour can have an adverse impact on the minds of the people. In fact she should be sent back to school, and made to go through the whole process right from nursery, so that she grows up well-mannered and civilised. Just because she is a politician does not mean that she can do whatever she wants to. I feel she should be expelled from Parliament.

Aditya Rangroo,
Kandivli, Mumbai

Kashmiris

Published in the Daily Times Lahore, Pakistan, 23rd June, 2005

Sir: When violence erupted in the Kashmir valley, the Pandits were forced to leave their homes. Militant leaders claim that they are fighting for “freedom” and not hostile to any ethnic or religious community. But we have now been in exile for 15 years. When will our exile end?

ADITYA RANGROO
India

Spent force

Published in The Asian Age, 5 November, 2005

Sir,
Arunava Bose Chowdhury has come out strongly in defence of former cricket captain Sourav Ganguly in his letter Iron will (November 2). It is true that Ganguly has had an impressive record. But we should not forget that he continuously failed to contribute for over one year. For the last one year Ganguly’s presence or absence did not make any difference to the team. Recently, after winning the second One-Day International against Sri Lanka, captain Rahul Dravid said that the current squad was the best and we did not need to make any changes. This clearly shows the reputation that Ganguly has among his team members. While it is true that J.P. Yadav has not contributed much, as claimed by the letter writer, it is also true that he never got the opportunity to bat fully in this series, whereas Ganguly got more than 50 opportunities in the last one year. So the question of replacing Yadav with Ganguly does not arise.

Aditya Rangroo,
Kandivli (East), Mumbai

Involve Pandits

Published in The Asian Age, 15 Sep, 2005

Sir,

According to the news item Kashmir reaches New York (September 13), Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf is expected to talk to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President George W. Bush on the Kashmir issue. Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq is also supposed to meet President Musharraf in New York. Earlier also the Hurriyat had a dialogue with the Kashmiri Pandits’ association and with the Central government. But not much has come out of these parleys.
A few months ago, Gen. Musharraf had said that the Kashmir issue would be solved in two weeks. Those two weeks have not yet ended. The Hurriyat in the meanwhile has been projecting itself as the mediator between the two nations, but strangely enough whenever the Hurriyat leaders have to talk to the Indian government or the Kashmiri Pandits, they first consult Gen. Musharraf. Another strange thing is that not a single member from Kashmir’s minority community has been involved in these talks. Kashmir is the homeland of the Pandits, why are they being left out from the peace process?

Aditya Rangroo,

Kandivli (East), Mumbai

Free Sarabajit Singh

Published in the Daily Times Lahore, Pakistan, 27 August 2005

Sir: The execution sentenced given to Sarbajit Singh is unfair and unjust. He crossed the border in 1990 by mistake and was labelled a RAW agent. If it is so, then Pakistan should present evidence to prove his links with RAW. Pakistan hasn’t been able to show documents which would prove Singh’s crime, whereas he has enough evidence to prove his innocence, which hasn’t been taken into consideration. I appeal to the Pakistan government to release Sarabajit Singh. Even if he is an agent of RAW, he has paid for his crime by spending 15 years in prison.
ADITYA RANGROO
India

Sinister actions

Published in Daily Times, Lahore, Pakistan, 2nd July, 2005

Sir: Recently, President General Pervez Musharraf stated that the Kashmir issue could be resolved within two weeks. But, a bomb set of by Hizbul Mujahideen, which killed six Indian jawans near the famous Nishat garden of Srinagar, ended the hopes of Kashmiri Pundits in this regard.

By this sinister act, the Hizbul Mujahideen has only proved that the Kashmir issue can really be resolved in two weeks, but only by killing innocent people, spreading terrorism and forcing people to leave their homes. If these people really believe they are fighting for “freedom” then I feel very sorry for them.

ADITYA RANGROO
India

Why I am Alone,

by Aditya Rangroo

When lights haven’t gone,
Happy days didn’t get torn,
Congenial faces are born.

Why I am Alone,
When the flowers are flourishing,
Each day is shining,
Stern era is arriving.

Why I am Alone,
When dreams haven’t shattered,
Feelings haven’t bittered,
Foes haven’t entered.

Why I am Alone,
When the alleviations are marching,
Doors are opening,
Fragrance is mesmerizing.

Why I am Alone,
When harmony haven’t lost its charm,
God has provided me a warm,
Everywhere is a helping arm.

Why I am Alone,
Why I am Alone,
Why I am Alone.

Rude Mumbai

Published in The Asian Age, 28 June, 2006

Sir, I am not surprised that Mumbai has been found to be the rudest city in India. I came to Mumbai three years ago and found that while the people were in general generous and kind, at the same time they lacked “etiquette.” One observed this especially while talking to rickshaw-wallas, bus conductors and even shopkeepers. Most of them use “tu” instead of “aap.” The rudeness of Mumbai is in its “language.”

Aditya Rangroo

Letter to the Editor

Published in The Asian Age, 26th Aug, 2005

Sir, The death sentence given to Sarabjit Singh by the Pakistani Supreme Court, if carried out, will be a grave mistake. If he is indeed a RAW agent, Pakistan should give us the evidence to prove his links with RAW. By the way, Sarabjit Singh has enough evidence to prove his innocence. Therefore, this is an appeal to the Indian government to save Sarabjit Singh (PM says he’ll talk to Pervez on ‘spy’ issue, August 24). The poor fellow has been imprisoned for the past 15 years. And now Pakistan information minister Sheikh Rashid (who himself harboured militants at his own farmhouse) claims that nobody can save Sarabjit, not even President Pervez Musharraf. This cruel decision shows Pakistan’s strong hostility and hatred towards India.

Aditya Rangroo,
e-mail

75 years later

Published in The Asian Age, 24 March, 2005

Sir,
On 23 March, 75 years ago, three men embraced death happily and boldly. The British empire was so scared of them even after their execution, that it got rid of their bodies in a clandestine manner. Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru sacrificed their lives for the cause of freedom. We can never forget their contribution. Today everyone believes that India would have been different had Bhagat Singh and his comrades been alive. We can produce many famous politicians and leaders, but there will be only one Bhagat Singh.

Aditya Rangroo

Nation forgets Bhagat Singh

Published in the Published in the Daily Excelsior, 23rd March, 2006

Sir,
Exactly 75 yrs ago, three men mounted gallows and embraced the noose happily and boldly. Imperial powers were so afraid that even after their execution they clandestinely took their bodies in isolation and chopped them into pieces and threw them into the famous Sutluj river. Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru sacrificed their lives for the cause of freedom; we can never forget the contribution made by them during freedom struggle. Today everyone believes that India would have been different if Bhagat Singh & comrades would have been alive. It is satisfying to learn that India regarded him “National Hero” but at the same time it pains to learn that no sort of tribute is paid to him on his martydom or birthday. Moreover, only slight information is available about him in syllabus in schools. Has India really done justice to his sacrifice? We should appreciate movies like “Rang De Basanti” for bringing Bhagat Singh and his ideologies back. We can produce famous politicians or leaders of that era but there can be one and only one Bhagat Singh.

Yours, Aditya Rangroo

Forgotten hero

Published in The Asian Age, 1 Oct, 2006

Sir, September 28 was the birthday of two legends — Bhagat Singh and Lata Mangeshkar. I was glad to see that all television channels telecast programmes on Lata Mangeshkar. But at the same time, I did not see a single television channel airing any programme related to the great martyr Bhagat Singh. Is Lata Mangeshkar a bigger achiever than Bhagat Singh?

Aditya Rangroo

Sarabjit must be released

Published in The Tribune, 31 Aug, 2005

III

Death sentence for Sarabjit Singh is unfair. He has strayed into the border in 1990 and Pakistan branded him as a RAW agent. Strangely, while Pakistan hasn’t been able to show the documents to prove his crime, he has enough evidence to prove his innocence. Therefore, the Government of India should try to save Sarabjit from the gallows.

ADITYA RANGROO,
Mumbai

No appeal

Published in the The Asian Age, 23 July, 2005

Sir,
The news is that for the first time the Hurriyat will talk to the Pandits. They will visit their camps. It is to highlight their claim to “secularism.” But strangely, they have been struck by secularism only after their recent meeting with General Pervez Musharraf. How can these people pose as conduits or mediators between the governments of the two nations, when they themselves are the ones who started violence and terrorism? What are these people going to offer to the Pandits? And why do they want to talk to the Pandits? Is it that in this post 9/11 world, Hurriyat leaders have understood that violence has lost its appeal. Therefore they want to project themselves as non-violent, peace loving people. These people want a secular image and are therefore trying to use the Pandits.

Aditya Rangroo,
Kandivli, Mumbai

Languishing in Pak jails

Published in the Kashmir Images, 20th July, 2005

Dear Editor,
Recently I read in a local newspaper a report saying several youths from J&K were languishing in the Lakhpat jail of Lahore, Pakistan. Some of these have been sentenced to 7 years imprisonment and some that of 10 years. Although they all have completed their jail term but still they are not released. Jail conditions are worst and many of them have died in the jail itself even after completing their jail term.
Few prisoners have written a letter to the government of India, but to their utter disappoint not a single initiative has been taken so far. Prisoners neither are brute criminals nor belong to any terrorist group; reports have proved that all are localite and have mistakenly crossed the border in early 1990s. Under these circumstances should not the chief minister provide immediate attention to those youths who haven’t seen the sunlight for the last 12-15 years?

Aditya Rangroo

Existence of God – A big question mark

By Aditya Rangroo

My grandmother every morning offer prayers to Almighty. Her day begins with prayers and ends with meditation. I often ask her, whom you are offering prayers and devoting so much time, she always says that there is an unknown and unseen force that has created, controlled and directed the entire dynasty and we (human beings) are his creations. He is Supreme Being. People recognize him by different names Bhagwan, Allah, and Jesus. People search him in temples, mosques, churches and even keep fasts on various days in a year. It is believed that one can feel his presence in holy places of mecca-madina, kedarnath-badrinath, Vaishnov Devi, Amarnath etc. Even, many wear an accessory which represents the God or are a symbol of God. There are many white men or more precisely sadhus, priests, Maulavi around and they have been declared next to God. People even worship them.

Continue Reading…

HOMELESS PANDITS

Published in The Asian Age, 18th June, 2005

Sir,
I have been going through your esteemed newspaper very attentively and certain questions have been cropping up in my mind. When terrorism erupted in the Kashmir valley, at the very outset the terrorists made us, the Pandits, their victims. The community was forced to leave the valley as refugees and they are still refugees in about 15 camps in different parts of the country. A professor known for writing on history and society wrote a letter to the militant leadership in late 1989 asking them to explain their policy and attitude towards the religious minority since they claimed they were fighting a “freedom struggle”. Next day they replied to his letter in a popular local daily by simply saying that all Kashmiri Pandits should join them in their armed struggle against India as otherwise their life and property would not be safe. After this open threat, my family left Kashmir, in the dead of night. It has over 15 years that I like, the other Pandits, am thrown on the roadside, without the place of my own. We never went back to Kashmir. They will not accept us. The Indian government, unfortunately, was not very caring. It does not want to displease the majority population of Kashmir and prefers that we do not return to our homeland. After our departure from Kashmir, the locals first looted our homes, and then set them on fire. And now we are busy appreciating Jinnah, busy talking about Yasin Malik .But we are not ready to recognize the blood soaked history of the Kashmiri Pandits.

Aditya Rangroo
Kandivli, Mumbai

Why shall Pandits talk to Hurriyat?

Published in the Kashmir Images, 19th July, 2005

Dear Editor,
The news is that for the first time the Hurriyat will talk to the Pandits. They will visit their camps. It is to highlight their claim to “secularism”. But strangely, the thought of secularism has struck them only after their recent meeting with the Pakistan President General Musharraf.

On 14 September 1989, Pandit Tika Lal Taploo, the chief of BJP in Kashmir was shot dead by the KLF (at that time it was called KLF and later JKLF) gunmen about thirty yards outside his house. After this incident, one Professor who was known figure, writing on history and society wrote a letter to the militant leadership in late 1989 asking them to explain their policy and attitude towards the religious minority since they claimed they were fighting a “freedom struggle”. Next day they replied to his letter in the popular paper called Kashmir Times referring to his letter and simply saying that all Kashmir Pandits should join them in the armed struggle against India otherwise their life and property were not safe. But, Pandits declined to take up arms against Indian troops.

Now after the 16 years of exile, how these people pose conduits/mediator between the governments of two nations when they themselves started violence and terrorism. What these people are going to offer to the Pandits? And why they have started feeling the need of talking to Pandits?

Is it that in post 9/11 world, Hurriyat leaders have understood that violence has lost the appeal and therefore they want to pose and project themselves as non-violent, peace loving people?

Beleaguered Pandits are going to have a dialogue with Hurriyat on 25 July, but strangely when the whole world is aware that, Hurriyat leaders are the main root cause of Kashmir terrorism. Even the OIC has given the status of an observer to the secessionist Hurriyat and not to any populist group from Kashmir. Had they been the representatives, there would have been people from other religious minorities in the group. Are there any?

These people want a secular image and are therefore trying to use Pandits that is all.

Aditya Rangroo

Women and media

Published in the Daily Excelsior, Jammu, 21 October

Sir,
With reference to (Women and Indian media, Oct 14) by Sweta Patwardhan. I welcome the kind views of author on the current scenario of women in India. It is absolutely true that media has played a great role in uplifting women’s rights and giving them recognition. But, I would like to bring the kind attention of media on those incidents which have disturbed the whole equilibrium of women in this regard. In the two financial cities of India likely Delhi and Mumbai, number of rapes has taken place the most shuddering was the rape of 16 yrs old at marine drive (Mumbai) by police constable. Every second day a rape is bound to happen in Delhi but police and media is just echoing the issue and no effective initiatives has been taken so far. When we talk about the media, it never highlights the problems of those beleaguered women in rural areas which are facing discrimination, domination and most popularly dowry issue. Even in MNCs women are facing exploitation by their bosses and colleagues. If media has given enough attention to the women but at the same time it has neglected the various issues. If man and women share equal rights then why not women have reservation in assembly, parliament and services. Therefore, it is unfair to claim that a woman has got all relevant exposure and security in terms of rights, recognition and appreciation.

Yours, Aditya Rangroo
Kandivli, Mumbai

Sourav-Chappel stand off

Published in the Daily Excelsior, Jammu, 29th Sep, 2005

Sir,
This refers to the letter written by Colonel R D Singh’s (Chappel vs Sourav, 26th Sep). He has expressed his kind view on the on going controversy between Chappel and Ganguly.
The author has unnecessary criticized Chappel for criticizing Ganguly. Every cricket fan knows that Ganguly has failed to provide his best in both test matches and ODIs. Since he has been struggling for a long time then why should India keep him in a team, is it just because he is the captain and an experienced player. Chappel just did his duty to inform BCCI about the form of Ganguly. It is high time that we should not let this continue and give a chance to other players also.

Yours, Aditya Rangroo
Kandivli, Mumbai

Save Sarbajit Singh

Published in the Daily Excelsior, Jammu, 30 Aug, 2005

Sir,
The execution sentenced by Pakistan to Sarbajit Singh is unfair and unjustifiable. He has mistakenly crossed the border in 1990 due to which Pakistan has labeled him a RAW agent. If it is so, then Pakistan should present all the evidences which will prove his links with RAW. Pakistan hasn’t been able to show all the documents which will prove his crime, whereas he has enough evidence to prove his innocence but Pakistan didn’t take it into consideration.
Therefore, this is an appeal to the Indian Government to save our Indian brother Sarbajit Singh. Poor fellow hasn’t seen the light for past 15 years.
On the other hand, Pakistan information & broadcasting minister Sheikh Rashid claimed that nobody can save Sarbajit not even President Musharraf. Don’t you think this cruel decision made by Pakistan has showed their strong hospitality and hatred towards India?

Yours, Aditya Rangroo
Kandivli, Mumbai

Get prisoners released

Published in the Daily Excelsior, Jammu, 21st July, 2005

Sir,

While going through this newspaper I came across a news item about several youths from J&K who are languishing in the lakhpat jail of Lahore, Pakistan. Some had been sentenced for 7 years prison and some 10 years, and, they all have completed their jail term but still they are not released. Jail conditions are worst and many of them have died in the jail itself even after completing their jail term. Few prisoners have written a letter to the Government of India, but to their disappointment not a single initiative has been taken so far. Prisoners neither are brute criminals nor belonged to any terrorist group; reports have proved that all are locals and had mistakenly crossed the border in early 1990s. Reports have also proved that, all youths are very poor and belong to the rural class. Under these circumstances, our Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, should immediate attention to these youths. Therefore importance should be paid to this matter and efforts made to get them released immediately. This is the humble request to the Jammu and Kashmir Government, to look the matter seriously and provide the great alternatives to those who are on the death edge.

Yours, Aditya Rangroo

Days which left a scar on Humanism

By Aditya Rangroo

It was winter season. My cousin and I were playing close to the window. Suddenly I heard people murmuring. I came close to the window and found a score of people gathered together frantically screaming “humko chahye aazadi, aazadi ka matlab la ilaah-illah”. I was too young to understand what it meant. All our neighbours and we shut and locked the doors. Many people started crying out of fear then I realized there was something serious and wrong. But most of the people didn’t come out of their homes. The next morning I heard a very loud noise. I ran downstairs and saw a man held by four unknown persons. Within a few minutes they shot him dead. It was what my eyes saw. My mind got blurred and I fled towards my home. That was the most horrible day of my life. After that incident I saw an old lady weeping and I realized her son was killed in front of her eyes. A loud speaker announcing “Pandits leave Kashmir and leave your wives and sisters here”. I lived for a full month under stress. I was a child just 6 years old who saw human blood splashed on floor, dead bodies and the tears of many people. I am a victim of Kashmir terrorism and still I am not able to come out of that horrible dilemma. People left their property unprotected and migrated to Jammu and then shattered in different parts of world empty hands.

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Aditya Rangroo

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Good Morning World

Aditya Rangroo, student of Mass Media, Journalism as specialization from the University of Mumbai. I was born in Kashmir but brought up in Delhi. I completed my 10+2 from Delhi. Then, I moved to Mumbai for higher studies. Being a Media student, I have a flair for writing. And, many of my write ups have appeared in State and National locals. Even, few write ups have appeared in Pakistan locals.