‘India rejects hyper activism’, The people stand with India’, ‘Malign India attempt foiled’ – these were the contents of some of the tickers that accompanied TV news channel Times Now’s ground report from Harel village in Kupwara district of Jammu & Kashmir.
“Time will tell” was the answer of most people who were interviewed by the anchor, in response to questions on how the scrapping of Jammu & Kashmir’s special status will play out in the area. Residents featured in the report repeatedly said that they have no knowledge of what is happening in the state because the internet has been shut down and mobile phones are disconnected.
The anchor, however, kept asking questions about the “development and positivity that will reach the Valley” as a result of changes to Article 370 of the Constitution. The interviewees gave no direct answers, reiterating that they only want peace. “We want peace.” one of them told Times Now. “But the internet is down, people are scared to step out, we don’t know anything. We only want peace.” Another person added, “We only know about our own houses. We don’t know what’s happening in neighbouring villages. There is no connectivity.”
The reporter even asked the locals if they heard Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation on Article 370, which was telecast on August 8. “How can we? Cable has been cut off,” one resident retorted.
The anchor repeatedly attempted to make people comment on Engineer Rashid, a firebrand politician of the state, but only received responses like, “He is a politician, all politicians are only after votes. They don’t care beyond that.”