Srinagar, April 28
Jammu Kashmir Press Association (JKPA) has decided not to celebrate World Press Freedom Day, citing alleged hostile attitude of the state Information Department to muzzle the press and deprive thousands of skilled and unskilled youth working in media houses of their bread and butter. “The Executive Members of JKPA held an emergency meeting today to deliberate upon the prevailing scenario in J&K in general and Kashmir Valley in particular,” JKPA president Ghulam Hassan Kaloo said.
He said it was felt that the majority of local media houses are face to face with umpteen hardships on various fronts, particularly due to alleged the hostile attitude of the Information he Department and as such, the atmosphere is not congenial for celebrations. Kaloo said that the journalists are the most vulnerable class of society and thus have remained under attack all along. “Many scribes in our state lost their precious lives while others have been facing humiliation of the worst order while discharging their professional obligations,” he said. He said that the JKPA has been celebrating World Press Freedom Day on May 3 every year to express solidarity with the journalists worldwide. “The celebration of the day is meant to apprise the world community about the plight of publishing houses and to remind the governments about their commitment to ensure safety and security of the media fraternity,” he said. He said Information Department was created by the government to disseminate information about its policies and programmes to the public through the medium of newspapers, but it has failed to perform its obligations. “It has chosen to widen the gap between the two and seems to be bent upon to muzzle the press and deprive thousands of skilled and unskilled youth working in media houses of their bread and butter,” he alleged.
“On one hand the government is confronted with unemployment problem but on the other the Information Department seems to be determined to compound the same,” Kaloo further alleged.