A campaign of hatred against the minority community is going on on social networking sites in Kashmir with several videos and pictures in circulation spreading venom being ignored by security agencies.
The government is blocking the internet and using it as a tool to prevent communal clashes, but no effort is being taken to identify and act against people involved in orchestrating the campaign.
Videos in circulation invoking communal hatred by both right-wing organisations and ‘jehadi’ sympathisers is a disturbing trend, but appearance of children is a matter of concern for all.
In the recent past, several videos, especially one in which a 10-year-old girl sings a song calling on militants, have gone viral, but are a chilling reminder on how deep radicalisation has made inroads in the Valley.
At times, images and videos are mostly morphed, aimed at targeting people for propaganda purposes, but it leaves a deep impact on the psyche of people who watch these.
Recently, the video of a local militant commander along with several young men in battle fatigues is another case where social media is being used to glorify violence.
“Inflammatory speeches, morphed images and videos are being used to incite the youth in Kashmir and this is a very disturbing trend. Only blocking the Internet for a few days will not solve the problem. The government needs to take tough steps,” said KB Jandyal, former Information Director, J&K.
Propaganda was a tool used by both Pakistan and separatist groups in Kashmir for decades. It got consolidated in the 1990s when cassettes, both audio and video, of the Afghan war and disintegration of the USSR smuggled from Pakistan were widely circulated and glorified the deeds of Islamic fighters.
Cassettes used to be played in mosques and public transport, calling upon people to rise against India to make Kashmir an Islamic state, which had a terrifying effect on the minority community members, leading to their migration. “The government has still not recognised that there is radicalisation of the youth, especially school and college students. The issue of cow slaughter is one such issue where social media is being used to spread hatred against India and the minority community,” said Ajay Chrangoo, chairman, Panun Kashmir.
However, a senior police official said it was very difficult to keep track of social media which was being used to spread such a message.