It has been over two weeks since Jammu and Kashmir was fully integrated into India without any terms and conditions attached. However, many are yet to come to terms with this historic decision. So much is their desperation to show that all is not well in Kashmir that some ‘liberal’ media houses have resorted to wrongly attributing pro-Kashmir integration rallies as ‘protests against’ the government of India’s decision.
On Monday, the Kolkata based newspaper The Telegraph published an article titled ‘Ex-defence plea against J&K changes’ where they used an image of a bunch of young people holding placards. The caption of the image read: “Activists of the Kashmiri Youth Movement express solidarity with Kashmir at an event in New Delhi on Sunday.”
The rest of the article does not mention ‘Kashmir Youth Movement” activists or what solidarity they were expressing. In the article, The Telegraph is talking about how ex-defence personnels and bureaucrats have moved the Supreme Court challenging the abrogation of Article 370. In absence of any disclaimers, it would appear that the above picture is of the activists who are supporting such move of the ex-defence personnels or are protesting against the abrogation of Article 370.
However, the above activists are actually favouring the abrogation of Article 370. OpIndia got in touch with Kashmiri Youth Movement activist, Rahul Kaul Vakil, who had organised the above march. “March was to welcome the recent decision of abrogation of Article 370 and 35A and to highlight how these Articles distracted Kashmir from peace and stability,” said Kaul. Many students, primarily Kashmiri youth born after the exodus and other activists as well as non-Kashmiris were present at the march.
Rahul Kaul Vakil said that the event was a communion for KPs to share a common feeling of loss of cultural belongingness.
As seen in the above video, the activists are actually welcoming the abrogation of Article 370. He has written to The Telegraph pointing out the misleading caption in the image they have used for a story. However, they have not heard back from them yet.
Update: After OpIndia reported The Telegraph’s misleading caption on the photograph, The Telegraph updated its caption on the image used and apologised for the misleading caption.