The change we want
Kashmiris are passionate about exclusivity and uniqueness. Exploring uncommon elements in most of the routine subjects is a habit, mostly not devoid of detail and depth. The history and geography of our region is an important element to sustain the people’s passion for exclusivity.
There are invasions, nevertheless, on this uniqueness from a myriad of digs and billets but the perseverance on the individual and collective level has encouraged us to withstand, endure and resist. The cannons aimed at dismantling us often ran out of mortars.
The journalism in Kashmir is also a tale of exclusive details and unique expedition. From Urdu calligraphers of yore to obscure pale-faced sub-editors behind their desktops, the reporters and photographers on the ground and the editors working in their offices, every individual has worked in trying circumstances for their basic cause to keep the people informed.
The uniqueness sustains with exclusive investment. The journalism in Kashmir has received invaluable investment—blood of editors, reporters, hawkers and photographers, countless light-years of passionate labour by every individual required to process the news until it reached to the readers or listeners. In not so distant past when the technology was not too advanced, the distributors of newspapers would walk the razor’s edge every night to carry the copy from the office to the printing press.
It is quite reassuring that the journalist tribe has expanded exponentially over the years. There are areas of disagreement or concern over the way the industry established and expanded. They can always be discussed and pondered upon. The system of checks and balances has the scope of being robust with the ability to look inward as well while keeping an eye over anything and everything happening outwards.
The re-launch of Kashmir Vision is a sincere effort to establish another space for meaningful and sustainable journalism. There was a time when local newspapers were seldom an option for career journalists to work with. Now we can boast of having a variety of newspapers where career journalists are running the show.
The caucus of exploiters of the profession, still visible at many quarters, can be elbowed out if the tribe of thorough professionals gradually takes over. This can lead to overhauling of the industry where honest professionals would not feel choked or smothered. We have means around to sustain a robust industry but a sizeable chunk of its value is exploited by unscrupulous elements who have no love for the profession except for their own vested interests.
Therefore our pledge is that the only ism we believe in is journalism. A pure objective look at issues without the biased lens of ideology. We hope to be more than a newspaper. We aim to provide a platform where different points of view find space, and freedom of expression. We will provoke, we will debate, we will take on the mighty, we will speak up for the weak and the oppressed.
However, the sermonizing and voicing out idealism cannot work unless concrete efforts are made for ground-breaking changes. There is scent of change in the air. We have to collectively sustain the efforts aimed at bringing about a positive change. The journalists have to do a favour to their own industry by establishing it on highly professional rails. It will automatically be beneficial to the people at large.