A minor girl ended her life. With her, died our conscience and journalistic ethics.
|July 27, 2012||Posted by Shehla Rashid under Kashmir, Politics, Women||
Quite a few days back, I wrote about how conveniently we choose to outrage over a few issues and ignore others. A 16-year old girl was gangraped in Baramulla but it did not make front page news. It was slyly pushed to the 9th page of a leading daily in Kashmir. I received a lot of criticism for highlighting the issue and trying to “gain attention” out of it. But my critics perhaps forgot that merely being a girl in Kashmir gets me more attention, solicited and unsolicited, than I could ever ask for!
Today, while catching up on news, I found a link to an article posted by a friend on Facebook: a minor girl had committed suicide after being gangraped by four men- three of whom happened to be her teachers- in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir. I quickly went back to the Greater Kashmir front page of July 25th and started looking for news about the same. To my utter shock, I found that GK had not bothered to report it. And in case you’re thinking that Rajouri is inaccsible for them or that they do not have reporters from Rajouri, you’re mistaken. Read this news item, reported on the same day, from the same place: protests for power at Rajouri! Who will protest for her honour? For her life?
To my relief, I finally found one link in local daily, Rising Kashmir, pertaining to the above-mentioned news. The four people have been arrested. Law will take its course- the poor girl’s character will be assassinated, the bereaved family will be ostracised, their affiliations questioned, tests will be conducted, bodies will be exhumed (or probably not, since the girl was Hindu and will not be buried), bribes will be paid and the incident will be forgotten. The battle may be won or lost but our conscience and morality have already died a shameful death. A child has been humiliated and pushed to suicide. Protests, outrage and condemnation are probably too much to ask of our leaders and our people but the least we could do is report it and follow up on it.