Nation Mourns; Now Let Sanity Prevail

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New Delhi – Freezing temperature in Kashmir fails to prevent it from boiling. Whether it’s Mahbooba government or now Governor’s rule, terror is permanent status for this region, which suits none, least of all the inhabitants and armed forces.

The Pulwama bomb attack killing 42 soldiers of central reserve paramilitary force (CRPF) has inflamed the sentiments of Indians.

The common citizen is also a little more sensitive and leaving no chance to put their guesswork linking the attacks with the impending parliamentary elections, not sparing any political party of their intent to create an environment of insecurity and find yet another opportunity to play the blame game.

Union minister Dr Jitendra Singh has already pulled politicians of Pakistan for triggering terror attacks in Indian region while nation is crying to get it settled forever. There was a convoy of seven vehicles with 2500 para military personnel and a car with 350 kg of explosives that rammed into a bus with 44 personnel on board on the highway of Srinagar – which was closed for over a week because of snow – and this huge convoy was rushed to its destination immediately after clearance of passage.

Television media has captured the seat of supreme judge, shutting the mouths of panelists and seeking revenge for this cowardly act. ‘Shouts and Shrieks’ style TV journalism is not a passé in India yet.

Videos and claims of Jaish E Mohammad (JeM), a terror outfit of Pakistan, taking responsibility for this attack has gotten more space than required on some channels, serving their larger purpose of getting their message through their medium. One feels rush of blood watching these channels, urgent need also for Surgical Strike -2 and most of the media are making a case for it already.

Apparently, everyone wants to cash in on the tragedy, some by sloganeering, and some by mourning, but none by asking categorically the supreme leadership and political trustees of this nation for a final policy stand, solution and systemic reforms.

Now when the parliamentary session ends, there should be a call for a special session to commit to a stronger stand against terror at any cost, unite beyond political differences over the security issues, and urge international leadership to commit and join hands.

The entire nation must seek to resolve that we can no more afford to leave our precious forces on the mercy of non-efficient machinery and non-delivering systems. Questions have been raised about intelligence reports not been taken seriously and missing proactive actions when security protocol would detect a vehicle parked nearby and search explosives easily. What was the obstacle?

These failures are majorly due to lack of assessing and acting desired way as hard core specialized professionals are not visible on key decision making posts. The fault is apparently with leadership.

Retired additional general of Border Security forces (BSF) S K Sood shares that ‘CRPF like other para military forces is being commanded by IPS (Indian Police Service) officers who don’t have any experience of carrying out operations in such critical operational environment. They are neither able to identify needs of Central paramilitary forces nor perhaps have inclination because they only join on deputation to escape difficult times in their states or for a comfortable home state.’ Facilitating safe movement of convoys through Road Opening Party (ROP) in militancy hit areas is a specialized job. Apparently, ROP failure this time leading to this big a casualty cannot be taken lightly.

Sood also shares that ‘South Kashmir has a heavy military concentration and it is expected of them to act proactively while the terror party was very methodical leaving their part to no chance.’ India must also leave the efforts to protect its people and territory to no chance. It is contextual to remind another tragedy just a day ahead of this one, when a school was also attacked in Narbal village of Kakapora and twelve kids were injured. It is clear that terror target of militants in Kashmir will spare none. Kids, youth, military or paramilitary, all lives need to be protected. Verbal ammunition can be defused to give way to sensible dialogue with stronger and strategic action to earn back confidence of citizens of India.

Dr Shipra Mathur
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Dr Shipra Mathur is the Consulting Editor.

Academic Background: PhD (Journalism), First candidate in Rajasthan to clear UGC - NET in Journalism year 1997, MJMC (Gold Medal), BJMC - President University Dept Student Union, MA (English Lit), BSc (Bio) – Vice President College Student Union, Diploma (Violin)

Fellowships/Scholarships: IVLP (3 weeks International Visitor’s Leadership Programme invite, US State Department, 2017); Media Strategies for Social Change (3 weeks programme invite Israel Agency for International Development Cooperation – MASHAV, 2013); Sacred Groves (2 year fellow Ministry of Cultural Affairs, 2010)

Action Campaign Editor (National): A unique designation which she chose for herself with role in decision making and breaking glass ceiling. With 20 years in Journalism (half in academia half in active journalism), she is now leading innovative - collaborative solution driven Journalism. Her key role is to plan News Campaigns, innovate for new approaches, take up issues; build linkages for Action and Impact. She has always followed unbeaten track with beginning phase as reporter then founding media departments in university affiliate colleges, later taking crucial role for launching evening newspaper, founding journalist training division of a media house, and now in her most crucial role since 2009 as founder of a division called Media Action Group (MAG) ( in the newspaper group embedded into core editorial. Her focus remains voiceless people, inspirational work, collaborative approach and people engagement to lead with passion and compassion. She has also been reaching out to grassroots people through speeches and her media programmes/platforms to help each of them become Changemaker. She is recipient of Women Icon Award – 2015 and recently Sriphal Award – 2016 for Public Service Journalism and Innovation Award - NIF, 2014. On the board of Amity University (JMC School), SWARAJ grassroots organization and many more.

Consulting Editor: India America Today

TV Show (Weekly) conceptualized, named and presented by her #SOULgers for Patrika Rajasthan TV. This is with a purpose to cover work and philosophy of people who listen to their soul, walk on unbeaten path and work like a soldier.

As resource person had opportunity to share experiences on invitation of FICCI, CII, UN Women, UNFPA, UNICEF, IIM-A, RMP, ISKON, Artha, Skoll, CSO/VO consultations/ trainings, UNESCO, PLAN International, Govt of India platforms, Print Media Houses (esp Regional Language newspapers) and other discussion forum to propagate the idea of Public Service Journalism and to share about Empathy, Importance of Meaningful Work, Public Education, Collaboration and Change.

She founded PEN media foundation to build dialogue for better ways of People’s Engagement with News world. She is also Founder Secretary deeply involved with a cause to support Disabled (amputee animals) by installing Prosthetic (Artificial Limb – KRISHNA Limb) as service (non - profit).

Area of Work She has done major work for the benefit of the underprivileged, voiceless, marginalized or deprived community. Her major achievements have been in the areas of Right to Education; Democracy Drives during assembly and general elections (won National Media Award by President of India); Civic Engagement for Expression of Development ideas and Initiatives; Street Vendor Policy; Camel Trafficking, Gender Issues including female foeticide (won Gender Media awards for Teams at different editions), Sex Selection (she represented her state before Prime Minister of India’s dialogue with Women Sarpanch (8th March 2017 showcasing remarkable improvement in sex ratio), Child Marriage, Female Voices; Inclusion, Empathy and Accessibility for People with Disability, Environment Conservation; Awareness and Access to Ayurveda; Hindu Refugees (Religious Persecution) and Govt Schools among others. Govt School and Gender campaign (engaging more than 200 civil society groups) is closest to her heart with huge impact – policies, mind sets and practices. All these issues have been taken in campaign mode with critical engagement of all the stakeholders. It was always an ecosystem which operated underneath with experts, development sector, social workers, social jurists, active citizens and sometime the actual sufferers or beneficiaries also, which added desired direction and force to all what she undertook. She always took driver’s seat and designed ways, decided nomenclature, planned steps, facilitated engagements, offered slant and edited stories and fanned public movement keeping her teams in the fore front. Now writes only when it boils within and if it at all supports the cause, else invisible force is what she prefers to remain as.

In past 2 years she has built a dialogue forum called KEYNOTE Idea Fest for Patrika mentoring and curating it for different editions and suggesting/inviting people who have worked with profound sense of commitment and who inspire with their work or thoughts.

Impact Campaigns (her brain child) in past years: Neenv, Ahsaas, Laado, Tabran ro Byaav, Bitiya Bachao, Vision – 2025, Vajood, Bitiya Padhao, Vanshalika Betiyan, Aao Padhayen Sabko Badhayen, Feri Walon par Fanda, Doob Raha Jahaaz, Ayushmaan, Live Park, Gamechangers

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