How fair is it to expect the Indian State to keep funding those publications in Kashmir which habitually take an anti-India line? In the realm of idealism, the State should even deny those publications lined-up in its support to first give sustenance to those who are resolutely arrayed against it. But in the real world, this is not how things work.
Therefore, the owners and editors of various Kashmir-based newspapers who are now making a big hue and cry over the denial of government advertisements should reconsider their own editorial conduct, nay, content. They cannot go on providing oxygen to the jihadis and expect the Indian taxpayers to pay for it.
Yes, in some other context the courts have intervened to stop governments from using the official ads as a tool to browbeat the media, but the case of the Kashmir newspapers is entirely on a different footing. Here are dailies which play up anti-India news, excoriate the security forces for real or alleged human rights abuses, blow up the separatist propaganda and then protest the denial of official ads with blank front pages. You cannot have it both ways.
Provide comfort to Pakistan and its proxies in the valley and expect the Indian State to feed you. Meanwhile, the self-styled ‘thekedars’ of the free press should desist wasting their collective breath, fulminating against the ‘fascist’ Modi Sarkar for killing free press in Kashmir. Sustaining a so-called free press which fans insurrection, nay, secession with taxpayers’ money is a betrayal of India. Pure and simple.