There has been nearly nothing to celebrate for Kashmiris, or at least for Kashmiri media, after they were confined to their own homes on 5 August 2019, without phones, without wifi and without the internet.
The Coronavirus lockdown on top of their own lockdown only compounded the misery.
Naturally, the prestigious Pulitzer Prize being awarded to two photographers from the Valley (Dar Yasin and Mukhtar Khan) and one from Jammu (Channi Anand), all three of them working for the Associated Press, has been received with pride and jubilation—and also a sense of validation of their professional commitment.
The news is on the top half of the front page of all the leading English dailies in Kashmir (see slide show, above).
The reaction of the media in mainland India to the news of their brave compatriots being honoured for their excellence in the face of grave adversity is another matter.
In a roundabout sort of way, the tepid, unenthusiastic coverage illustrates why India is now No. 142 on the World Press Freedom index.
Only two newspapers, The Telegraph from Calcutta, and the Deccan Chronicle from Hyderabad, demonstrate anything that might approximate to an unconditional celebration of the recognition earned by their peers and compatriots.
“Pictures boots can’t crush,” is the Telegraph headline.
Both newspapers give the pictures shot by the three photographers on their front page and on the inside pages. Telegraph has a gallery of 22 pictures inside (below, left), and Chronicle has good display too.
Only Deccan Herald from Bangalore, Mumbai Mirror, and The Asian Age (which belongs to the Deccan Chronicle stable) feature the news somewhat on page one.
For most of the rest, it is business as usual, with a couple of them (The Times of India and The Pioneer) actually giving the to and fro between Rahul Gandhi and the BJP primacy over the Pulitzer Prize.
The Times of India: page 8, double column
Hindustan Times: page 11, four column
The Indian Express: page 7, seven column
The Hindu: page 14, double column
The Tribune: page 10, double column
The Pioneer, page 1, double column
The New Indian Express: page 8, single column
Among the language newspapers, only Navbharat Times from The Times of India group and the Urdu daily Inquilaab from Dainik Jagran group have the news on page one, although Dainik Bhaskar has the best display.
Navbharat Times: page 1, four column
Inquilaab: page 1, three column
Rajasthan Patrika: page 3, single column
Sakshi: page 3, double column
Praja Vani: page 8, three column
Prabhat Khabar: page 11, brief
Dainik Bhaskar: page 12, eight column