Mostly educated people were cheated by CSS because of a lack of awareness. So, such scams should be remembered and taken as future alerts.

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Scams in countries like India are not new. From the 1958 Mundhra scandal (₹12 million) to the Kerala gold smuggling scandal in 2020, India has witnessed seemingly impossible scams in post-independence history that had the capability to shake the country’s GDP. Unlike other parts of India, Kashmir is not used to such scary scams, but a few, like the Roshni Act of 2001 (as declared by the Hon’ble HC court) and, obviously, the recent one, the Curative Survey Scam (CSS), in which (according to reports) scammers made more than 69 crore INR only within the valley. Scams, even if done with the state’s involvement, affect every taxpayer directly and are therefore against the whole society. In the recent scam (CSS) in Kashmir, mostly students, the unemployed, and the underemployed were involved and scammed. A Kashmir-based YouTuber is being praised for unveiling the scam and raising awareness among youth about such scams, but what is also unveiled are three faces of Kashmir.

Three Faces
Scams, like every other crime, possess the capacity to create chaos in society. Blame gaming, rumor spreading, and questioning trusted corporations are common in such situations. The answer to all these problems is (and should be) the media. The media plays an important role in stabilizing such chaotic situations in societies. However, ironically, what CSS has exposed and unveiled is the weakest phase of journalism in Kashmir, especially social media journalism. Persons with microphones and cameras are found in every such scene, and ground reporting is common nowadays, and people do follow them closely. But what people never check in them is media ethics, ethical and practical reporting, which are in the spirit of journalism. Ethics in media means the report (or news) should be unbiased, as well as decent, and decency includes presenting the news decently. Media ethics means respecting every party and playing the role of a mere communicator and not that of a judge. Unfortunately, what is seen is a media person protesting and crying even more than the public itself, a media person judging other parties only on the basis of claims from the general public, and even worse, a media person abusing on camera, which is dangerous not only for the future of media but also for society.

The second face unveiled by CSS was the kind of information people are influenced with. As Euripides has said, “Man’s most valuable trait is a judicious sense of what not to believe.” Unfortunately, Kashmiri youth (especially shortcut seekers) in the era of knowledge still believes that companies will, without any effort, double their investment (how embarrassing). Trials against a Kashmir-based YouTuber were run on camera by major social media journalists, which was an attack on media ethics and against morals. But his contribution was merely promoting the website, which, according to him, was, after all inquiries, reasonable and correct. On such points, Indian courts have taken a stand that a brand promoter can’t be held responsible if there is, on the face of it, no defect in the product, but the consumer felt cheated after all because it’s his duty to check the product before buying it. It was upon all victims of CSS to check the credibility of the site before investing and not to believe any such ads blindly.

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