Dr. Pardeep Singh Bali
Father of Peace Journalism, Johan Galtung has said ‘To say something about peace journalism, something has to be said about peace. To say something about peace, something has to be said about conflict and its resolution’. In the context of Kashmir, the conflict is rooted in a complex web of historical, political, economic, and social factors. These include the region’s contested status between India and Pakistan, the demands of Kashmiri separatists for self-determination, the history of violence and human rights abuses in the region, and the interests and concerns of various stakeholders, both within and outside of the region.
Without a clear understanding of the root causes of conflict and the perspectives of the different parties involved, it can be difficult to identify potential solutions and build effective strategies for peace-building. To promote peace in Kashmir, it is important to engage with these complex issues and understand the perspectives of all parties involved. This requires a willingness to listen to diverse viewpoints, challenge assumptions and biases, and seek out accurate and balanced information. It also involves recognizing the impact of historical and structural factors, such as poverty, inequality, and discrimination that may contribute to the perpetuation of conflict.
The conflict in Kashmir has been ongoing for decades, and media coverage has often been sensationalizing, biased, and inflammatory. This has contributed to a culture of mistrust and hostility between different groups, making it difficult to find a peaceful solution to the conflict. In contrast, peace journalism seeks to report on the conflict in a way that promotes understanding, empathy, and dialogue.
Peace journalism is an approach to reporting that aims to promote non-violent conflict resolution and encourage dialogue between opposing parties. In Kashmir, peace journalism can play a crucial role in promoting understanding and reducing tensions between various stakeholders.
This form of journalism involves reporting on conflicts in a way that highlights the human costs of violence and the potential for peaceful resolution. It seeks to provide a more balanced and nuanced view of conflicts, and to challenge the stereotypes and prejudices that often fuel them. In Kashmir, peace journalism can help to create a more constructive dialogue between different communities, and to promote understanding. It can also help to give a voice to those who have been marginalized or silenced by the conflict, and to create a space for constructive dialogue and debate.
In addition, peace journalism can contribute to the building of a culture of peace and non-violence in Kashmir. By promoting the values of tolerance, respect, and understanding, it can help to create an environment in which conflicts can be resolved peacefully and without resorting to violence. This is particularly important in a region like Kashmir, where the cycle of violence and retaliation has been ongoing for so long.
Moreover, peace journalism can also help to challenge the dominant narratives that often portray one side as a villain and the other as a victim. By providing a more balanced view of the conflict, peace journalism can create space for constructive dialogue and contribute to a more informed public discourse.
To conclude, it can be said that although peace journalism cannot undo the damages of the past many decades in one go, the significance of peace journalism in Kashmir lies in its potential to help create a more constructive and peaceful future for the region. By promoting dialogue, understanding, and non-violent conflict resolution, it can help to break the cycle of violence and build a culture of peace that can benefit all communities in the region.
(The Author is a Lecturer in the Department of Journalism and Media Studies, University of Jammu)
Peace Journalism in Kashmir
Dr. Pardeep Singh Bali