As Pakistan continued to be rattled by Narendra Modi government’s decision to fully integrate Jammu and Kashmir into India, it has found support in its campaign against India in many Indian politicians and journalists. After a Pakistani minister rued the fact that Rahul Gandhi didn’t become the PM in 2019, a Pakistani journalist has found that the views of Indian journalist Abhisar Sharma echo the views of Pakistanis.
Today Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir shared a video where controversial ‘journalist’ Abhisar Sharma had complained about few jokes circulating on social media after the abrogation of Article 370. Mir said that one can differ with political views of the Indian journalist, but there is nothing wrong in what he is saying while condemning jokes about land and girls of Kashmir.
One can differ with the political views of this Indian journalist @abhisar_sharma but he is not saying anything wrong in this video he condemned some jokes about the land and girls of Kashmir on social media spread by fellow journalists pic.twitter.com/bopiraoRy1
— Hamid Mir (@HamidMirPAK) August 18, 2019
In the video, Abhisar Sharma can be seen talking about three images related to Kashmir, strongly objecting to them, saying that they are being circulated by journalists only. The first joke is a fake advertisement offering to sell land in Kashmir. The second image shows some girls apparently from Kashmir, with text below saying that now bachelors can prepare from marriage and after 15th August Kashmir can be the place of their in-laws. These two memes refer to abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A, which had prevented people outside Jammu and Kashmir to purchase land in the state, and took away the property rights of Kashmiri women if they married non-locals. The third picture shows a map of India with a saffron-coloured Indian traditional headgear on the head of map, i.e., Jammu and Kashmir. Sharma has a problem with the colour of the Safa (turban).
The first two images just show what was not available earlier, but Abhishar Sharma thinks people have reduced the abrogation of Article 370 into just land and woman. Full integration of Jammu and Kashmir into the nation is obviously one of the biggest events in independent India. But by just picking some random memes from social media and claiming that people have reduced it to land and woman, Sharma has presented a very distorted view which has become a useful tool for Pakistanis to spread its propaganda against India. Just because restrictions have been removed, people are not going to rush to buy land and marry girls from Kashmir, those are important life decisions which will be taken after taking several things into consideration. The memes that Abhishar is complaining about only show that Kashmir is also now an option for those who are interested. This does not mean the entire issue is reduced to land and woman.
The third complaint about the colour of the turban is baseless, as the saffron colour is not an exclusive trademark of BJP like the left-liberals in India think. Different hues of saffron-orange are popular colours in India, and turbans are known to be colourful. If someone made a meme with a saffron hued safa on the head of India, it can’t be said that it is a BJP propaganda.