THE K WORD
Pakistan’s attacks along the International Border (IB) are the cover story in the Organiser. An editorial condemns Pakistan’s attempts to rake up the “K” word to address domestic issues. Referring to the movie Haider, it alleges that using liberal forms of art to devalue the Indian position on Kashmir is not new. “All intellectuals and artists of ‘secular brigade’ conveniently established ‘K’ word in the name of creativity and ‘human rights’…” The article alleges that “talking of rights and promoting separatism and neglecting the rights of J (Jammu) and L (Ladakh) have for long meant business for many factions.”
But the article warns that the dynamics of J&K have changed with a changing India, after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, and “governance” has taken centrestage. With the armed forces playing a key role in relief and rescue operations during the recent floods, “the small faction of separatists who have been speaking on behalf of J&K but have been actually representing small part of ‘K’” have been exposed. “Many in the Valley are realising that misuse and misinterpretation of Article 370, along with cross-border terrorism, are the root cause of their miseries. Therefore, it is time the separatists as well as their tacit supporters understood that emotionally and financially ‘K’ is no longer a currency…” the editorial says.
An article in the Organiser advises the BJP-led Central government, which has resolved to create 100 “smart cities”, to strike a balance between environment and privacy, citing examples to claim that the concept of smart city violates citizens’ privacy. The article, written by Bharat Jhunjhunwala, argues that smart cities would require the installation of sensors and cameras across the public space, through which movements of individuals can be monitored. “The record of bus or metro tickets bought, petrol filled in the car, mobile phone location and shopping done could all be put together and your complete travel programme would be known to the controllers. Much of this information can be gathered without tapping the phones…,” pointing out that there is potential for the misuse of such information. “Smart cities will help conserve the environment by reducing wastage. But this should not lead to violation of privacy and integrity of the individual…” says the article.
Panchjanya, which has run a cover on Haider, discusses the “criticism” of Vishal Bhardwaj’s movie. Citing instances of Kashmiri Hindus burning posters of the movie and the memorandum they have submitted, it says that the public’s “objections” to the film are valid, because the film “muzzles the truth and tries to evoke sentiments towards lies.” It also claims that had Bhardwaj read the experiences of former governors S.K. Sinha and Jagmohan in J&K before making the film, he could have given a true picture of “alligators of the valley.”
Compiled by Liz Mathew