The Kashmiri journalist and broadcaster Gowhar Geelani has been booked for his “posts and writings prejudicial to the national integrity, sovereignty and security of India”.
Below is his response.
“Journalists and writers are storytellers. They tell people’s stories and explain the events in a proper context and historicity with an analytical sweep.
“As a journalist, It is my job to write, to tell stories, and to analyse and interpret different situations and events on the ground. I have been telling all kinds of stories from Srinagar to Berlin, from New Delhi to London.
“A journalist can’t make all sides happy. Someone always finds something unpalatable. But that’s a journalist’s professional predicament.
“During my professional career spanning over 15 years I have been writing stories of the marginalised and the dispossessed, the powerful and the powerless — all kinds of stories, the tragedies and triumphs.
“I have been showered with accolades by the people and reputed independent institutions. At the same time I have witnessed many ups and downs in my career. Have faced abuses and threats from the rightwing trolls. Been accused of bias by competing ideological camps in Kashmir; left, right and centre.
“Intimidating tactics from any quarter won’t cow me down. I will continue doing my job with sound professional judgment.
“It is a badge of honour for a journalist when the dispossessed love your body of work and the powerful dislike it.
“Obviously, all the charges made against me are concocted and baseless. The aim is to silence all the remaining critical and sane voices and to criminalise opinions and journalism in Kashmir.
“Memory will win. Words are a writer’s weapons. All I have is: words. Let me assure one and all that Journalism and words will stay and survive. Censorship won’t. All my life I have advocated non-violence, condemned violence in all forms and manifestations, stood for the rights of the people and free speech.
“I thank my family, friends, colleagues of my fraternity and all the people in and outside Kashmir for their support and solidarity!
‘Na siley ki na sataish ki Tamanna humko, haq main logoun ki to hamari hai aadat likhna’”