Telling Our Own Stories: Kashmir Walla Gives A Glimpse Into Life In The Valley

Telling Our Own Stories: Kashmir Walla Gives A Glimpse Into Life In The Valley
(L) The Quint ; Twitter (R)

Fahad Shah, the editor of the independent Indian magazine, The Kashmir Walla, had first started the initiative as a personal blog in 2011. As a striving journalist looking for work in Delhi, Fahad got the idea for it from Mayank Austen Soofi, a journalist writing a blog called The Delhi Walla, by whom he was interviewed about being a young Kashmiri journalist in Delhi.

However, when he saw the negative comments about Kashmiris on Soofi’s piece, Shah was disheartened. He felt that it was time to give Kashmiris their own voice. Moreover, previously, he had also felt that Kashmiris were misrepresented in Indian and international media during the 2008 and 2010 uprisings.

So, in 2011, Shah reimagined The Kashmir Walla as a multimedia news magazine covering political, social, and cultural dissent to bring context to what daily life is like in Kashmir. He felt that it was time Kashmiris learnt to tell their own stories and not depend on national dailies to reach out to the people of the country. Thus, The Kashmir Walla was started. It started printing and distributing a weekly newspaper in June 2019.

Even though the common people of Kashmir have bestowed huge goodwill for the paper through donations and subscriptions, sustaining a news organisation in the midst of recurrent curfews and military violence had been really difficult. However, despite all of that, Fahad feels that Kashmiris need to tell their own stories.

“We need to learn storytelling and we need to create a platform and the mediums to become the bridge between all the people and the rest of the world.”

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