Information deptt presents ‘goody, goody’ picture, misleads CM, Info Minister

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[ August 31, 2017 ] The officials of the state run Information department are trying to create a notion that department is emerging as one of the fastest growing organs of the government machinery but the fact is that it has outlived its utility as a few officials and politicians are running the show.During the past few years the officials of the Information department have made tall claims that “revolutionary steps” have been taken to make the department vibrant. But these so-called “revolutionary steps” have remained confined to crushing the local media only. “Since the day PDP-BJP government has come into power many small dailies and weeklies which used to survive on the government advertisements have called it a day. Curtailing advertisements has been the biggest revolutionary step taken by the Information department. The officials are hell bent to prove that there are only 20 to 30 dailies which exist in Kashmir and other publications are not worth,” said an editor of a local daily. He said that soon after the PDP-BJP regime came into power, the former Chief Minister late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed invited the editors of all the local dailies for an interaction at Nehru Guest House in Chesmashahi and noted the problems faced by them. He assured them that everyone would be taken along. “The officials of the Information department misled the late Chief Minister by presenting a goody-goody picture of the department and did not allow him to streamline the department,” the editor alleged. Many people who are associated with the local media in Kashmir are of the opinion that Information department instead of acting as a bridge has acted as an impediment between the government and the people. “The tall claims of the officials to disseminate the information have proved to be a hoax. The department has failed to deliver whenever the government needed it most. It has failed to counter the anti-government propaganda on the social networking sites. Nor has it been able to project the achievements of the government in right perspective,” said a scribe. He claimed that initially the officials of the department misled the late Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, then the incumbent Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who assigned the charge of the department to Chaudary Zulfikar Ali. “At present the officials of the department are misleading the Information Minister by feeding him the wrong information. The ground reality is that they are accommodating a few dailies and weeklies. Rest they are out to destroy the entire local media in Kashmir,” the scribe added. He said the newspapers like Precious Kashmir and Alsafa News which are challenging the hegemony of the Information department are being punished for raising their voice. The only thing which the officials are good at is that they know how to choke the advertisement flow and they are doing it. “The PDP-BJP government is already 30-months old and it has got half of its tenure left. Till now people don’t know what this government has done for them and Information department seems in no mood to let people know that government exists on ground too,” opined a veteran journalist.He said that local media in Kashmir has seen worst phases than the present one and this phase would also get over soon.