Things are ‘normal’ on the surface in Kashmir, but there is fear among residents, says Anuradha Bhasin, Executive Editor of The Kashmir Times.
“They won’t talk openly to journalists,” she says in this podcast discussion with Sidharth Bhatia.
In her book, Dismantling a State, the Untold Story of Article 370, Bhasin has written how people in Jammu and Kashmir were stunned at the decision. Journalists couldn’t write their stories because the government made it difficult for journalists to operate. There was no internet and no landlines for a while — “just a few computers for over 100 journalists, and they had to file stories under surveillance,” she says.
Talking about the revelations made by former governor Satya Pal Malik to The Wire, she says even earlier there was speculation about an intelligence failure leading to the Pulwama attack, but that Malik had brought out an insider’s view. As for the charges of corruption against the prime minister, Bhasin said, “The Modi government had said corruption was done by a few big families, but clearly it hasn’t stopped.”
Bhasin feels elections in Jammu and Kashmir won’t happen soon. “The BJP is not sure it will get support in Jammu anymore, so elections will happen only after the general elections, I think.”