It is with considerable anguish that I follow the news of 40 CRPF jawans killed in a terrorist attack in Pulwama, Kashmir. Jaish-e-Mohammed, a well known Islamist terrorist organisation has claimed credit for it.
Jaish-e-Mohammed has been designated by the United Kingdom,US, Russia, Australia, Canada, India, the United Arab Emirates,and even Pakistan as a terrorist organisation. However, when you look at the coverage of this incident on BBC, nowhere does the term “terror attack” or “terrorists” figure, except in one instance where it reports about the designation by various countries. This glaring reluctance to call this brutal inhuman suicidal fidayeen jihadist attack a “terror” attack outright and also BBC’s coverage of news about Kashmir gives the impression that the unrest in Kashmir is simply due to the local populace being antagonistic to India and hence such events are just natural events of resistance to the security forces of India.
When terror activities happen in Paris or London or anywhere in the Western world, they get great coverage. Every one from New York to Timbuktu feels sad, expresses their solidarity in whatever little way they can; as they should. Even Indians do candle light vigils and feel for the victims. But when blatant terrorist attacks such as Pulwama happen in India, I see the western media like BBC hesitant to call it a terrorist attack and call the perpetrators as “militants” as if it is just a popular uprising against Indian “oppression”.
A time will come when events such as which happen in Kashmir – of stone throwing, public disorder, violence against people of other religion, against law enforcement and security officers will become the norm in some of the cities of United Kingdom. Already, there have been some several areas in some of the big cities of the UK where huge demographic changes have happened, similar to what happened in Kashmir. In the late 90s, Kashmiri pundits from minority Hindu community were driven out of the valley forcefully and suddenly. The changes in UK however, have been gradual and have been more organic. Having said that, it is only a matter of time, maybe 10-15 years when the demographic changes reach a “critical” point and the minority community is no longer a minority in certain cities. That is when, incidents similar to what Kashmir has faced in last couple of decades will become common place.
The BBC will see that many such violent acts will have the backing of huge numbers of their “own” people. And the BBC will then wonder why many of their “own” people have become antagonistic towards the UK. If they do a honest assessment and fact check then, they will realize that the reasons for those incidents and the ones in Kashmir (now) have the same underlying religious jihadi ideology.
I hope that at least then, the BBC will call them terrorists.
I hope that at least then, the BBC will realize that the incident at Pulwama on 14th February was indeed a TERRORIST attack and had to be reported as one.