A young Kashmiri media owner, who runs a mobile TV channel in the Valley, has denounced the stone-pelting by youth and has asked them to utilise their potential to ensure the social and economic progress of the state. Srinagar-based Tariq Bhat said, “Our scholars have called it (stone-pelting) as `un-Islamic’. If you are doing stone pelting, especially the girls, this is un-Islamic. Secondly, we are destroying our image by engaging in such activities. Now, the whole scenario in the world has changed. Wherever there is gun culture, stone pelting or violence, it is being neglected by the world. Kashmir’s image nowadays is not good”.
Bhat launched ANN (Asian News Network), an android-based television channel in 2016 with an aim to make the people aware about Kashmir’s rich culture, art and promote peace and harmony.
His innovation is said to be a part of towards the Digital India project by digitising the media and developing an android TV application.
He said, “When Prime Minister Modi made an announcement that he wants to see Andriod phones in the hands of youth, I got the idea of mobile television.”
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“In many countries like Norway, the offline media is closing down. There, everything is getting online. The future, I have read articles and I have researched while staying in various cities and countries, and I have seen that youth in all those countries have so many creative ideas. I gained ideas from there, but implemented it after listening to the Prime Minister,” added Bhat.
Tariq feels the Kashmir Valley, which is caged in by separatist-sponsored unrest, is heading towards devastation as the state’s economy is in turmoil because of violence.
Tourism, handicrafts and other private businesses are hit badly and many have started migrating to other states and abroad.
He said, “If Kashmiris feel that stone pelting will benefit them, it is not possible.”
“Our economy is reaching at zero. You survive with private businesses and if it gets affected by strikes, everyday you are losing in crores. Who is getting affected? It is the stone pelter who is getting affected because it is his family member or a friend whose business is getting affected. If a stone pelter fails to get a meal at night, he will engage in other crimes”, said Tariq.
Bhat, who runs a news portal and online radio, has generated employment for many in the Valley.
He said that it was his wish that the talented youth of Kashmir utilise their potential for the betterment of their state, especially in areas such as tourism, silk textiles and other sectors.