The media’s code of silence on Kashmir
Kashmir Updates - Aijaz Zaka Syed - May 03, 2019
The Indian media boasts an illustrious history. Born during the freedom struggle against the British colonial rule, it quickly mastered the rules of the game, working around the stiff curbs and acute sensitivities of the colonial masters. If the Independence movement saw popular newspapers provide intellectual leadership and direction to the country, the post-independence era saw them really thrive, mirroring the aspirations and dreams of a young nation. Except for the dark interregnum of Indira Gandhi’s Emergency when, in the words of Lal Krishna Advani, it chose to crawl when told to bend, Indian media has been fiercely independent and free-spirited. Never shying away from speaking truth to power, it has jealously guarded its freedom under successive governments.
My former newspaper, the ‘Indian Express’, has by far been the most fearless of them all, perpetually defying the government of the day with its brilliant reportage, incisive commentary and groundbreaking investigative stories. Celebrated for bringing down governments with some of its brilliant and famous exposes, the Express chose to defiantly print blank sheets in place of editorial and news columns when told to submit them to government scrutiny during Emergency years.