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05-25-2022     3 رجب 1440

Finally, Kashmir Press Club has a Robust Body

January 16, 2022 |

Around the globe, journalists have their own club where they discuss and deliberate over issues of their concern which are addressed and resolved as per the aspirations. The focus everywhere is to redress the grievances in terms of livelihood and sustenance since scribes too have the same genetic makeover as the rest of people who are out there to earn for their families and live for the society by highlighting the public issues and making the administration aware about many problems being confronted on daily basis. For decades, the issue of Kashmir press club lingered on and on due to the lack of interest shown by senior journalists who gave it a colour of description by deceiving young ones by trivilaising its establishment but never sought to answer as to why on scribes in Valley are being denied this platform while their compatriots in rest of the country enjoyed the privileges of having such a club. Here, the credit of establishing the Press Club of Kashmir goes to the former chief minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed who in his first interaction with the journalists after taking over as chief minister clearly spelt out his vision of a press club in Srinagar, which was later given due shape and recognition by his daughter Mehbooba Mufti after his death. In this entire exercise of shaping it, there was only one journalist who meticulously worked in establishing Kashmir’s own press club, which he also named as Awan-e-Sahafat. Salim Pandit, the senior journalist, who has been associated with world’s largest circulated daily, The Times of India, over decades now, took pains in the entire process from registration to inauguration. The painstaking efforts not only involved securing a building at posh Poloview in the heart of Srinagar’s Residency Road but also cordially inviting all journalists from print, electronic, radio, photographers, freelancers and young interns to be part of this endeavour which would shape the future course of journalism in Kashmir. Ironically, Jammu had a press club for decades while Srinagar was denied by those at the helm. Infact, the former chief minister Omar Abdullah was accused of sabotaging the establishment of a residential Press Colony for journalists in Srinagar. The entire process that was started by then CM Mufti Sayeed and saw former CM Ghulam Nabi Azad formalizing it by identifying land at Humhama was dumped by Omar with whom the scribe body which received Rs 10000 from each members under the Sun City Cooperative Colony was to negotiate further on the entire project. The reason for the file being thrown in the Civil Secretariat dustbin by Omar and his then advisor DS Rana has not been determined by even those who paid the initial amount for the would be accommodation in Srinagar. At this juncture when Kashmir Press Club is on threshold of much awaited restructuring, Omar through his usual critical tweets encouraged those inimical to the stability and prosperity of journalists in Kashmir. He questioned the formation of a new body under the leadership of Salim Pandit who was forced to resign following internal bickering engineered by few editors of English language newspapers for their own self interest. The former KPC president was selected and elected by Pandit but failed to live upto the expectations in terms of the welfare of journalists in Kashmir. KPC under his tutelage failed to generate any kind of relief for the kin of senior journalist Muddasir Ali who died of heart attack and never raised any query as to what were the reasons of his death. Nor did it help Javed Ahmad’s family to overcome the tragedy of death due to cardiac arrest. Similarly he never led or lend voice/s through protests after senior editor Shujaat Bukhari was assassinated at Press Enclave by militants. The resentment by this body at that critical juncture could have sent a message across the masterminds of the dastardly act that scribes are one and against such killings in Kashmir. The former body was only active in terms of issuing press statements alone and only while the welfare and rehabilitation of journalists never saw light of the day during this period. The Press Club should not be a spot for snacks but be a space for resolution of day-do-day and long term problems of all the journalists in Kashmir. The petty politicking in the corridors of the sacred space of Polo View not only brings disrepute to the stature of journalists in Kashmir who have stood tested times of conflict but managed to raise voice of voiceless. Here the need of the hour is to strengthen the founder of this club, who not only generated funds for it when it started functioning but continued to remain its goodwill ambassador as lifetime member. Now if he has again assumed the mantle of this sinking ship, let us all strengthen his leadership and make him accountable for his action in helping the journalistic fraternity to come out of a morass of uncertainty.

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Finally, Kashmir Press Club has a Robust Body

January 16, 2022 |

Around the globe, journalists have their own club where they discuss and deliberate over issues of their concern which are addressed and resolved as per the aspirations. The focus everywhere is to redress the grievances in terms of livelihood and sustenance since scribes too have the same genetic makeover as the rest of people who are out there to earn for their families and live for the society by highlighting the public issues and making the administration aware about many problems being confronted on daily basis. For decades, the issue of Kashmir press club lingered on and on due to the lack of interest shown by senior journalists who gave it a colour of description by deceiving young ones by trivilaising its establishment but never sought to answer as to why on scribes in Valley are being denied this platform while their compatriots in rest of the country enjoyed the privileges of having such a club. Here, the credit of establishing the Press Club of Kashmir goes to the former chief minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed who in his first interaction with the journalists after taking over as chief minister clearly spelt out his vision of a press club in Srinagar, which was later given due shape and recognition by his daughter Mehbooba Mufti after his death. In this entire exercise of shaping it, there was only one journalist who meticulously worked in establishing Kashmir’s own press club, which he also named as Awan-e-Sahafat. Salim Pandit, the senior journalist, who has been associated with world’s largest circulated daily, The Times of India, over decades now, took pains in the entire process from registration to inauguration. The painstaking efforts not only involved securing a building at posh Poloview in the heart of Srinagar’s Residency Road but also cordially inviting all journalists from print, electronic, radio, photographers, freelancers and young interns to be part of this endeavour which would shape the future course of journalism in Kashmir. Ironically, Jammu had a press club for decades while Srinagar was denied by those at the helm. Infact, the former chief minister Omar Abdullah was accused of sabotaging the establishment of a residential Press Colony for journalists in Srinagar. The entire process that was started by then CM Mufti Sayeed and saw former CM Ghulam Nabi Azad formalizing it by identifying land at Humhama was dumped by Omar with whom the scribe body which received Rs 10000 from each members under the Sun City Cooperative Colony was to negotiate further on the entire project. The reason for the file being thrown in the Civil Secretariat dustbin by Omar and his then advisor DS Rana has not been determined by even those who paid the initial amount for the would be accommodation in Srinagar. At this juncture when Kashmir Press Club is on threshold of much awaited restructuring, Omar through his usual critical tweets encouraged those inimical to the stability and prosperity of journalists in Kashmir. He questioned the formation of a new body under the leadership of Salim Pandit who was forced to resign following internal bickering engineered by few editors of English language newspapers for their own self interest. The former KPC president was selected and elected by Pandit but failed to live upto the expectations in terms of the welfare of journalists in Kashmir. KPC under his tutelage failed to generate any kind of relief for the kin of senior journalist Muddasir Ali who died of heart attack and never raised any query as to what were the reasons of his death. Nor did it help Javed Ahmad’s family to overcome the tragedy of death due to cardiac arrest. Similarly he never led or lend voice/s through protests after senior editor Shujaat Bukhari was assassinated at Press Enclave by militants. The resentment by this body at that critical juncture could have sent a message across the masterminds of the dastardly act that scribes are one and against such killings in Kashmir. The former body was only active in terms of issuing press statements alone and only while the welfare and rehabilitation of journalists never saw light of the day during this period. The Press Club should not be a spot for snacks but be a space for resolution of day-do-day and long term problems of all the journalists in Kashmir. The petty politicking in the corridors of the sacred space of Polo View not only brings disrepute to the stature of journalists in Kashmir who have stood tested times of conflict but managed to raise voice of voiceless. Here the need of the hour is to strengthen the founder of this club, who not only generated funds for it when it started functioning but continued to remain its goodwill ambassador as lifetime member. Now if he has again assumed the mantle of this sinking ship, let us all strengthen his leadership and make him accountable for his action in helping the journalistic fraternity to come out of a morass of uncertainty.


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Owner, Printer, Publisher, Editor: Farooq Ahmad Wani
Legal Advisor: M.J. Hubi
Printed at: Abid Enterprizes, Zainkote Srinagar
Published from: Gulshanabad Chraresharief Budgam
RNI No.: JKENG/2010/33802
Office No’s: 0194-2451076, 9622924716 , 9419400056
Postal Regd No: SK/135/2010-2019
Administrative Office: Abi Guzer Srinagar

© Copyright 2018 brighterkashmir.com All Rights Reserved.