Indians are huffing and puffing, and pining for a return to normalcy, after just 15 days of the 21-day “lockdown” announced by the Narendra Modi government following the outbreak of #Coronavirus.
But the people of Jammu and Kashmir have been there and done that.
Exactly 250 days ago, today, the state was put in a “lockdown”. The movement of people was restricted, institutions and businesses were shut—and a draconian clampdown on media was formalised to stop information flow.
The “lockdown” in Kashmir since August 5 last year saw newspapers shut down, journalists lose jobs, and citizens being deprived of news and views in the absence of the phone and internet.
Some of those excruciating conditions have been partially lifted lately, but the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown Kashmiri journalists working in the most difficult circumstances into a further tizzy.
In this episode of J-POD, a podcast on journalism, Kashmiri journalist, broadcaster and author Gowhar Geelani discusses how the Kashmir lockdown is different from the Indian lockdown—and what the tiny virus has done to a media already on the backfoot in the “world’s most militarized zone”.