Since September 11, 2001, it seems like the basis of this crazy idea of peace, is nearly impossible to find in the world we live in today.
In a world, where deaths are celebrated and the thought of war is fueled by scripted movies, not knowing that an escalation may lead to capturing of a human being and a heavy toll on human life. In a world where we hear and learn about the world, and even about what’s going on in our own nation, through one lens, which is the media. But never has this lens been more narrow and more extreme than it is today. We do not have a mainstream media anymore; we have an extreme, corporate media beating the drums of war.
We as Kashmiris know the cost of war that has been at our door steps for the past many decades. We have endlessly suffered during this war. Seeing the coffins of our loved ones and friends is beyond a 3-hour Bollywood movie.
Between the hyped themes like #IndiaWantsRevenge, Islamic Extremism and personal attacks between the two-party candidates almost every night, the media is actually training us to fit the mould of a shallow consumer-driven society that thrives off of fear, sensationalism, and the one that supports war.
More specifically, they cover the Indo-Pak Relations: the episode of Sourabh Kalia, the alleged human rights violations in Balochistan, the killings in Kashmir, Pakistan’s alleged Militant camps as a pretext for war.
Yet those who are truly concerned about war and its human casualty, those who are concerned about the growing inequality in the world, those who are concerned about climate change, net transperacy, about huge money in politics, brutality of Armed Forces, the fading away of our civil liberties — are not necessarily the concerns of a fringe minority, nor of a silent majority. In fact, these are the concerns of the silenced majority.
We are silenced by this extremist corporate media, which is why it’s more important now than ever that we take our media back through independent and alternative journalism. Because without an independent media acting as a watchdog to those in power, we are only feeding into a system that drives revenue to Ambani’s and other elites, through the most profitable act of business our nation has come too comfortably to love.
Yet most Indians and Pakistanis don’t know this and are unaware of who we’re actually at war with.
Jumping to the current “war” we’re involved in now that the media has fear-mongered the public into supporting is the one against ‘terrorists’. As Arundhati Roy, the booker prize winner remarks, “The Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre was manoeuvring to push the country into a war-like situation ahead of the general election by raking up “manufactured sentiments” of national pride among the people through the advent of Media.”
The corporate media needs boogeymen to induce fear, as it survives off of sensationalism and to hate, Kashmiris and Muslims are the boogeymen of our time.
The Media of our times has turned into a gravy train for profits. From a report conducted by MintPress: Since 2001, the defense stocks of America’s top five arms producers — including General Dynamics, Raytheon — are trading at record prices as shareholders reap the benefits from escalating military conflicts around the world.
Erstwhile, what the media has done is provided unlimited airtime to these politicians, analysts and pundits who directly profit from war, who represent the defense industries, who work for the oil companies and construction industries, without questioning them once, the only people silenced down are the alternative voices and those who denounce the war rhetoric.
The over hyped nationalism and people coming out on the streets to celebrate the alleged deaths in an otherwise peace loving India, is accomplished civil strife.
This policy of civil strife focuses on exploiting the fault lines between the Hindus and Muslims to turn them against each other and dissipate their energy on internal conflicts, so as to help the vote bank of a party which happens to be the master funder to the News organization.
They surely will not tell us that it’s about elections. Who would support a war for votes, for oil, or for money? That’s not ethical or respectable. It’s immoral, so they name it as war against terrorism, war against extremism, Surgical strikes, war against weapons of Mass Destruction, and Not many people would jump on board to call an end to such wars.
And when people do call for ending tyranny, the mainstream media does not get along, in fact label one as Anti Nationals and possibly even terrorists, or book us under sedition.
Journalism is a public interest entity that is actually a form of activism, as George Orwell put it, in a world full of deceit, speaking the truth is a revolutionary act, but unofturnately Our media became the official mouthpiece for the Governments rather than being the watchdogs, which has more to do with the share of advertisements from the Government.
Malcolm X once said, “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”
Today it’s the Muslims, Kashmiris, yesterday it was the Russians, and many years ago it was the Communists. Different enemies, altered narratives, same motive: votes, money, oil, gas, resources and influence.