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Photoshop to boost Kashmir CM image

Haroon Mirani

Srinagar, November 02, 2007:

cloning skills
Cloning skills click for full view

Desperate to boost the image of the Chief Minister of Indian administered Kashmir, Ghulam Nabi Azad, the region’s Department of Information has turned to graphic software to project a mass support for him.

The daily press releases and pictures sent by the Information department off late include doctored photographs showing mammoth crowds at the chief minister’s rallies.

A keen look at the photographs, however, betrays the computer skills of the department.

Click for full view

A large crowd is made by cloning the original few people in the rally, many times over, placing them side by side in the photographs creating the perception of huge public participation.

In a picture released by the department on October 16, about the chief minister’s rally in south Kashmir village of Verinag, Kashmir Newz could detect patches cloned at least five times. picture

There are others such as a picture of chief minister’s rally in R S Pura Jammu on September 25, CM’s visit to Badamwari Srinagar on October 15, which betray the crude doctoring skills.

Most of the times the low resolution of the pictures sent by the department cover the doctoring flaws in pictures.

At times the crude doctoring gives the picture the look of a studio set up. picture A picture released by the department on October 15, 2007, shows Azad, his wife Shamima Dev Azad and Chairman J&K Bank Haseeb Drabu inspecting Badamwari Park being developed by the J&K Bank.

Click for full view

The picture looks like a product of graphic editing.

It seems as if the three were not present at the park and were brought from somewhere else and clubbed together into a make-believe picture.

The doctored pictures also create doubts as to whether the chief minister actually visits locations or he just lets the graphic software do the job.

Azad is known to be very sensitive about his media coverage. Since he assumed office in November 2005, Azad has been unhappy with the media.

Sources in the Information department reveal that he has been using carrot and stick policy for newspapers in the region, appeasing with advertisements and punishing with curtailments.

During a conference of editors in October, Azad said that media didn’t give credit to his “achievements” and expressed his anger over what he called “negative reportage”.

He said that “positive news” should be given more coverage.

It is not clear if the doctoring of pictures by the department is done at chief ministers orders or it is an appeasement activity of the department itself.

However, insiders reveal that the department is under “huge” pressure to promote the chief ministers image.

(Kashmir Newz)



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Click here to read this story. For reproduction rights contact Kashmir Newz Desk

Click here to read this story. For reproduction rights contact Kashmir Newz Desk

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