Life Story is a project conceived and run by The Dispatch to re-introduce the story of the people of Jammu and Kashmir through individual achievements attained by way of institutional engagements.Background
Jammu and Kashmir has historically seen more organised efforts in keeping people divided on narrow regional and communal lines making them adversely competitive to each other’s loss. This place is full of talent, positive stories with potential for competitive environment but a cohesive community effort looking at entire Jammu and Kashmir as one people has traditionally lacked.
The media further amplifies the divides rather than helping repair relations challenged by a regressive politics. The media outlook is steeped in a pattern of history which is not easy to change. Ever since emergence of newspapers as institutions of mass communication in late 1930s and early 1940s, the Press has been organized on the regional lines and resultantly on communal lines operating on a regional competitive environment. As a result the Press has thrived and the communities and the regions have failed.
An international Rugby player in Kupwara, representing Jammu and Kashmir and the country, at international competitions, doesn’t figure as a story for a Jammu newspaper and therefore goes unnoticed in the whole region. Similarly, a Wushu player from Kathua is no story for Srinagar based newspapers. At different levels and scales, there are hundreds of such stories, small and big, which go unreported on everyday basis. Therefore, people and communities within two regions and across Jammu and Kashmir know each other through the stories of bigotry and hate, what they find through the media.
In this background, Life Story is conceived as an endless series focused at introducing people to each other, and to the world, through the stories of their achievements –the achievements for them as individuals, for their local communities, regions, Jammu and Kashmir and the country.