Journalism in Kashmir, Part Two
Newspapers after 1947
After 1947, a number of newspapers emerged. They included Hamdard, edited by late Ghulam Rasool Arif, Daily Aftab, edited by Late Khawaja Sanaullah Bhat. Martand also continued for some time. In 1953, Jamat-e-Islamia launched a newspaper Azaan edited by late Ghulam Nabi Hagroo.
“In 1953-63, during Bakshi’s time, only outside press was allowed to come to Kashmir and the freedom to the local press was only in name. In 1963, after the Holy Relic agitation, when Bakshi regime fell, Ghulam Mohammed Sadiq came as the chief minister of the state. Though there was interference by the government, but by and large it was for the first time that newspapers survived because of their merit and professionalism and not because of its affiliation with any political party,” says Mohammed Syed Malik, a senior journalist.
In 1963, there was a boom in the newspapers. Among the prominent papers include Srinagar Times, the weeklyAaina, edited by late Shameem Ahmed Shameem andDaily Chinar, edited by Gayas ud Din. An English newspaper, Kashmir Times also hit the stands at that time, which was edited by Vaid Bhasin.
In 1967, Sheikh Abdullah was patronizing Plebiscite Front and Maulana Farooq had formed Awami Action Committee. Both the parties started their own weekly papers. Plebiscite Front started weekly Front in English and Mahaz in Urdu. Awami Action Committee started Urdu weekly Hurriyat.
Within one-year, the government imposed ban on all these papers. Though the ban was lifted after one year but by that time some newspapers had ceased to exist.
In late 1980’s and 90’s, Daily Excelsior, Greater Kashmirand Kashmir Images became very prominent. And since then, there was no looking back.
With the advent of new technologies in media, journalism in Kashmir is scaling new heights. Better newspaper designs, attractive presentation and improved color schemes in printing raised the standard of newspaper journalism in Kashmir. The concept of online journalism has gained popularity for bridging the gaps. Today’s readers have a wide variety of options to choose from the publications devoted to specialized subjects because of diverse information easily available on account of technological development.
Though what started in the Kashmir after 1947 is reflected very much today also, despite facing various situations, the Kashmiri press has emerged as a strong contender and is playing its role according to the capacity of its editors, columnists, reporters and correspondents. Many publications and online portals have come up after 1990’s. The online media has now triggered a new beginning of journalism in Kashmir.