Kashmir Newspapers Publish Blank Front Pages to Protest Government’s Ban on Ads
Major English and Urdu newspapers in occupied Kashmir on Sunday published blank front pages in protest against the Indian State government’s suspension of advertising to two local English dailies – Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Reader.
‘In protest against unexplained denial of government advertisements to Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Reader,” the message on the front pages read.
Major English and Urdu newspapers in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday published blank front pages in protest against the state government’s suspension of advertising to two local English dailies – Greater Kashmirand Kashmir Reader.
A Deliberate Attempt
In February, the Jammu and Kashmir administration, had suspended advertising to the two newspapers without specifying a reason. The Kashmir Editors Guild had in an earlier statement said the state administration is trying “deliberate strangulation and subversion of the institution of media in the state”.
Since the ban, Greater Kashmir has reduced its edition of 20 pages to 12 pages, while Kashmir Reader has cut four pages and is down to publishing a 12-page edition
“At a time when world’s largest democracy is readying for one of the major electoral exercises on earth, the Kashmir editors’ guild is lamenting over the continued denial and unexplained halt to the rightful disbursal of government advertisements to Kashmir’s two major daily newspapers – Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Reader,” a guild spokesperson said in a statement.
History of Denial
Greater Kashmir was already blacklisted from getting ads from the central government’s Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity in 2008. In 2016, Kashmir Reader was banned for three months during mass protests by the coalition government of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Peoples Democratic Party.
Ever since the Pulwama attack in Kashmir, the Indian Authorities have been widely accused of discrimination against the already oppressed members of the Kashmiri community in the occupied zone. According to sources, this seems like a government mechanism to curb any form of dissent from the occupied zone. Jammu And Kashmir