(The founder of the Kashmir Times, whose office was sealed by the Jammu & Kashmir Administration)
Very recently, the Jammu and Kashmir Administration has sealed the office of the Kashmir Times, the oldest and the most circulated English Daily of the Jammu and Kashmir, who was founded Ved Bhasin, the father of the current editor of the daily, Anuradha Bhasin.
A staunch supporter of democracy, peace activist and student leader Ved Bhasin was born on May 1, 1929 and died on November 5, 2015. Known for his uncompromising secular values, advocacy of justice peace and human rights, he has been credited with institutionalizing journalism in Jammu and Kashmir. Ved Bhasin had started his journalism career with an Urdu weekly, Naya Samaj from 1952-54, which was banded under in 1954 under the Defense of India Rules, 1950 for its opposition towards the then Jammu and Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah’s undemocratic deposition and arrest. Later, Ved Bhasin founded the Kashmir Times in 1955, which started as a weekly and in 1971, it was converted into a full-fledged Daily. Now its office was sealed on 19.10.2020 by the officials of the Jammu and Kashmir Administration.
Ved Bhasin was a live witness to the 1947 Jammu massacres. At the age of 17, in his home town Jammu, he witnessed the massacres in November 1947. In some way, he tried his bit in preventing what was happening. He says on the topic “To recall those days of communal orgy, my only objective is to point out that a communalist and killer has no religion. It was the humanity that was the victim of communal fanatics. Instead of blaming any one (community) for those dark days of partition, we should better learn appropriate lessons from history and not allow the communal fanatics of one or the community to vitiate the atmosphere and disturb communal peace and harmony.
His Views on Kashmir Crises
Here are his views on the Kashmir Conflict from his collected works published by his daughter Anuradha Bhasin, the current editor of the Jammu Kashmir Times, who flat was evicted some months ago and now the office of the daily under her editorship has been sealed:
“Clearly the policy of suppression pursued in Jammu and Kashmir since 1990 has not succeeded to eliminate militancy, much less to crush popular unrest or bring back the people to the national mainstream. The bullet for bullet policy with untold human rights violations has proved counter-productive…Unless the root cause of militancy and the people’s disenchantment with India is tackled no worthwhile and lasting solution is possible. Primarily, it is a political problem which cannot be tackled with armed strength by dealing with it as simply a law and order problem. A political solution that could satisfy the urges and aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir living in all regions and areas and belonging to all faiths and communities that could also be eventually acceptable to India and Pakistan is called for …J&K is not just a piece of land that it should be divided between India and Pakistan. It is the people who constitute Jammu and Kashmir…Any solution based on status-quo, geographically and politically and constitutionally, cannot be considered rational and realistic and will not be acceptable to the people who have risen in revolt.”
He was criticized by many in Jammu for being pro-Kashmir valley, and was attacked several times.