Saturday, 23 July 2011

Anatomy of a Slur: Reputation of Indian Army Gang Raped in Kashmir by Gullible Indian Media


Clearly the media here has learnt no lessons with the Fai episode. It remains gullible at best and an unwary and willing ally to anti-India forces at its worst.

The preliminary medical report issued by assistant surgeon, District Hospital, Kulgam, who examined the victim, Rukaya Banoo wife of Mohammad Latief Bhat resident of Manzgam Gujardhar in Kulgam district stated that, the woman had no marks of violence or resistance on any part of the body, including her private parts.

The Kulwama "rape' story developed fast, it was pushed along by herd mentality, running stories without confirming facts is doing a lot of damage to India's stabilization of Kashmir. 

Allegations of rape in the past have proven false, baseless and often motivated by separatist elements in the valley run from across the border in Pakistan by its intelligence agency, the illustrious ISI, on behalf of the Pakistani Army.
The Chief Minister of the State known to often get into trouble by shooting his mouth off decided to add fat to the fire with his ill-considered statement, "...the guilty won't be spared either Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) or no AFSPA". 
Will Omar Abdullah apologize to the Indian Army when this is proven bullshit as many other such motivated allegations before it have too? The Indian Army is in Kashmir at the invitation of the government and ironically guarantees this ungrateful man's personal freedom and well being, besides being a bulwark of stability, and order. What would provoke a man to abuse this freedom in such a callous manner? 
While one can understand that the local Kashmir media is biased, do editors sitting in Delhi have no independent thought or balance? MHA, MoD should have been first responders to the media, yet they sat on their hands till the story went viral, being repeated often enough, started sounding like the truth. 
 A quick investigation how the story developed will lay bare the threads of how many people were on the gravy train, including stringers and point persons of various print and broadcast media shops who are both lazy and incompetent. 
Statements of the Army by General Officer Commanding of the Army's 15 Corps, Lt General Syed Atta Hasnain, were not carried or carried as an afterthought: 
“I want to make it very clear that this is an allegation and if there is any truth in this, then it’s a criminal act against which strict action must be taken,”
“I want to clarify the combat uniforms are worn by (militants), they also carry radio sets and pouches. There are already different versions of the same story. The lady (the victim) first said she was abducted by civilian individual and even mentioned his name. No reference was made to army or security forces and this obviously proves that there are inimical forces that want to create a situation for the state government and the army which is going to be negative,” he said, adding, “This is why I want to appeal Awam (people) and media to trust us. We will do a dispassionate investigation into it and if there is any truth at all (into the allegations), we will take stern action against the culprit.” 
“Incidentally, I have a copy of FIR with me and there is no mention of army in it,” he said, adding, “We are aware that not only the army, but (militants) also wear combat uniforms. We conducted an operation against militants a fortnight ago in the same area and the militants are under pressure. Therefore, this was something not unexpected at all. I was expecting it which is why I appeared before you (media) with total transparency.”
“We have a very strong presence of people around that area not in the area. First of all I want to tell you that people from the unit are at the moment with police. We are accompanying them to ensure that any query pertaining to army is answered on the spot. Secondly, army is disciplined force and it is almost impossible that two individuals remain away with weapons from a camp for 48-hours.” 

The use of media by the ISI in fomenting disinformation, inciting unrest and supporting separatist campaigns in the scamp districts of the Kashmir valley needs to be probed, measured and reckoned with. 

This should be followed through with strategic measures by revamping the media facing communication apparatus and structure of the State Government, the MHA and the MoD, if the use of this faculty has to be denied as an instrument of PsyOps in the valley. 

Unrest provides a fertile environment for festering of Islamic Insurgency and justification for violence and atrocity in the name of religion. This faculty has to be denied if the insurgency is going to die.

Another aspect that needs to be examined is the apologist and appeasement narrative of the Congress led UPA Government that seeks to subliminally restrain Intelligence agencies, Police and other similarly charged administrative authorities to successfully execute their mandate. 

This sadly also translates to an eager to please media that sometimes reads these signals erroneously, with tragic effects for India and its hapless victims of terror. 

This narrative has manifested itself in the poor reporting of the Fai story on the one hand and the over reporting of the 'Rape' allegation against the Indian Army, the CRPF, The Police, etc, on the other hand. 

The MoD usually quite active when publishing a Supreme Court case dismissal of a petition against it filed by a war Widow, or its shenanigans against the Chief of Army Staff, General VK Singh, somehow becomes rather passive in engaging with such malicious use of the media. 

Similarly the MHA and its various private armies spend a lot of their energies creating media coverage on the bogey of Hindu Terror, or other minority appeasement news, but all these leaks never seem to work for the security fights that India fights in insurgencies from the Maoist hinterland to the North East to Kashmir.

There needs to be introspection on our ethos as a nation, for the current narrative in fashion with the UPA is enabling terror, insurgency and foreign intelligence terror plots to succeed. 

Have certain people in Government become the enemy because of their vote bank compulsion? 

Where will this take us as a people? 

How many will die before we learn to call a spade, a spade?

These questions beg urgent answers, if India has to have any reasonable non-balkanized future as modern nation state.






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