Kashmir Youth Most Media Savvy

Kashmir Youth Most Media Savvy

21 February 2012
The Asian Age


New Delhi: A media survey spread across six districts of the Kashmir valley, including Srinagar, Anantnag and Baramulla have found Kashmiri youth to be amongst the most media savvy in the world. Not only are 74 per cent of the Kashmiri youth viewing state-run TV and radio channels, including DD News and DD Kashmir but BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, Pakistan TV, private Indian new channels but unlicensed TV channels are also being watched extensively. The presence of 25 unlicensed channels capturing the indignation of the Kashmiri people came to the forefront during the stone-pelting that rocked the Valley and these were subsequently banned. These findings are significant because it was the Kashmir youth who took up the gun in the late eighties and were again in the forefront of the stone throwing in 2010. Forty eight per cent of the Valley’s population falls within the age group of 12-35 years.These facts have come to light in a survey titled 'Media Impact on the Kashmiri Youth' in which 1,300 Kashmiri youth were interviewed. The survey was conducted by Prof. Navnita Chadha Behera of Delhi University and Institute for Research on India and Institutional Studies. Prof. Behera, who has authored several books on Kashmir, believes the youth seem to have turned their gaze “inward” with developments within their state being the key factor in shaping their worldview. She undertook a qualitative assessment of 500 stories published in Greater Kashmir between the Amarnath agitation of 2008 till December 2010. It was found that 63 per cent of the stories revolved around the army operations, protests and killings while only 7 per cent dealt with news from India. Behera said, ' Its disturbing is that the Kashmiri youth have no alternate understanding of India.’ But at the same time, Kashmiri youth openly express their disillusionment with Pakistan. Sixty one per cent of the youth are listening to religious sermons and Behera believes the footprint of the Ahle-I-Hadis and Tablighi Jamaat are on the rise.