IAS officer Shah Faesal made national headlines when he resigned from the service earlier this month. The young officer said that he is resigning “to protest against the unabated killings in Kashmir and lack of any sincere reach-out from the Union Government”. The UPSC entrance test topper had also complained about “marginalization and invisibilization of around 200 million Indian Muslims at the hands of Hindutva forces reducing them to second-class citizens”. Basically, he was reflecting the views similar to the views of Kashmiri separatists. His comments were a big irony because he himself is a victim of terrorism in the valley, his father was brutally killed by terrorists, and now his thoughts are in alignment of the thoughts of his father’s killers.
Jammu and Kashmir is known for such paradox when it comes to terrorism. While on the one hand, the state participates in democratic process like voting in elections, the state also sees massive participation in the funeral procession of terrorists killed by security forces. Highlighting such paradoxes, Observer Research Foundation’s (ORF) associate fellow Khalid Shah has written an article, taking Shah Faesal’s turnaround as an example. The article is critical of Faesal, as the victim of the ‘sentiment’) is now positioning himself as a sympathiser of the champions of ‘resistance’ who promote gun, militancy and violence.
The article was sent to two prominent newspapers for publishing, but both of them refused to print it. The article was rejected by Indian Express and Hindustan Times.
This article was rejected by two prominent (liberal) newspapers
NOW, let us show the editors of the two elitist publications the power of social media.
⏏️ RT & share this article with your friends. The voice of underdogs will not be silenced!
Thanks for reading https://t.co/5Py9J1JaiY
— Khalid Shah (@khalidbshah) January 17, 2019
This article was rejected by Indian Express (“journalism of courage”?) and by Hindustan Times (because they’re trying to poach Shah Faesal from “journalism of courage”). So much for courage and so much for journalism https://t.co/39M3ErDj7w
— Abhijit Iyer-Mitra (@Iyervval) January 17, 2019
Khalid Shah examines how both the terrorists and the victims of the same terrorists are martyrs in Kashmir. He also describes how while thousands attend funeral processions of terrorists, the victims of terrorism are forgotten quickly.
The rejection of the article by two prominent newspapers shows how mainstream media work to build a narrative. As the article didn’t suit the narrative they want to peddle, they refused to publish it. Khalid Shah has asked some very uncomfortable questions, how the victims of terrorism eventually become supporters of the same ideologies that drive the terrorists, which seems to too hot for the mainstream media to handle. But in the age of the internet, no views can be suppressed, no matter how uncomfortable it is, and the article can be read here.