Encircling Kashmir

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Saima Bhat

 Being a local in Kashmir doesn’t make me feel secure same way as it used to be before PDP-BJP alliance. Every day I wake up with news of different yatras making way towards Kashmir. Any incident that happens in any part of India now has a direct impact on Kashmir. And any tom, dick and harry comes here and becomes a ‘leader’ and dictate terms for us.

Last year efforts were made to turn virgin tourist destination Kausarnag into a pilgrimage site. I fail to understand why state government wants to please people sitting in Delhi, at the cost of people living in Kashmir.

This year some people were arrested in district Budgam who had come for ‘secret’ Abhinav Gupt Yatra. My question is how is it possible that these trouble mongers reached Budgam despite government imposing restrictions.

Same is the case with now controversial Shadipora mela. After looking at visuals coming from Shadipora, I was transported to 90s era where government owned Doordarshan used to air visuals from Kumb Mela.

Festivals are fine. Kashmiris are hosting annual Amaranth Yatra for decades now. We host around 10 lakh yatris every year despite environmental implications. And it continued during the peak years of militancy as well. Then why you have to now politicise or communalise such things? Why you always need to keep Kashmiris busy with these communal tactics. This politics reminds of claims of Janta party during 70’s!

If people at the helm of affairs feel melancholic and really want to glorify Kashmir by ‘re-starting’ the traditional practices then please first start the Buddhist religious activities as they were the first, as per history, who came to Kashmir. At least they can give us better tourism!

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