Kashmir cable operators beam 100 anti-India Pak, Saudi channels and centre monitors
There are at least 50 channels which propagate hate against India which are being beamed directly into the home of Kashmir. Channels from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia which includes Peace TV run by Dr Zakir Naik are available easily in Kashmir which is facing a crisis.
There are around 5,000 cable operators in the Valley. Most of the people subscribe to these channels through these private players. Ironically these channels continue to be relayed despite the Information and Broadcasting Ministry issuing a clear ban on the same.
Some of the channels that are being beamed are Karbala, Ary QTV, Saudi Sunnah, Saudi Quran, Al Arabia, Paigham, Hidayat, Noor, Madani, Sehar, Hadi, Sehar, , Bethat, Ahlibat, Message, Falak, Geo News, Ary News and Dawn News. All these channels are banned by the I&B ministry. However no action has been initiated against the cable operators in Kashmir who continue to provide the service.
The Kashmir war is being fought on propaganda. Clerics, Pakistanis and many within the country propagate and get people out on the streets to attack the Indian Armed personnel. These channels run anti-India programmes all day long and this has only fuelled tensions further.
While the Pakistani channels put out anti-India programmes, the ones from Saudi preach Wahhabism. The concept of the Sharia law and why it should be implemented are part of the programmes that are broadcast by these channels. The Pakistani channels on the other hand refer to terrorist groups such as Lashkar-e-Tayiba and the Hizbul Mujahideen as organisations fighting for freedom. The terrorists are referred to as freedom fighters and martyrs.
Does the law apply?
While the government of India has clearly banned these channels, the cable operators in Kashmir cite the Ranbir Penal Code. It is a separate law for the people of Kashmir. Under this the ban imposed by the government of India cannot be made applicable, the cable operators argue.
They further state that all these channels are free to air. It is being aired for nearly two decades now. The ban by the ministry is not applicable as they are governed under the Ranbir Penal Code, the cable operators argue.
The centre on the other hand says that it is monitoring the situation. The centre says that it has directed the state authorities to take action against those cable operators who are beaming these channels.