Everyone remembers Malala Yousafzai for her brave stand against the terrorists. She was shot in the head for supporting education for girls. She was the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize ever. A similar case occurred on Thursday in the Pulwama district of Kashmir where a 45 year old, Molvi Mohd Ashraf Thoker was shot multiple times in both the legs by the terrorists. He is the Imam of the local Hanfia Masjid in Parigram village in South Kashmir.
According to reports, the maulvi was actively advocating for a school in his village which apparently did not go well with the assailants. The attackers have yet not been identified and no terrorist group has taken the responsibility for the incident either. However it is clear that both, Constable Javed Dar and Molvi Mohd Ashraf Thoker have been attacked by the militants in the valley. The question however that arises from such incidents is on the mentality of the militants that demand for a free Kashmir.
Is this how they imagine their idea of a free Kashmir where people are shot for trying to promote education? Female atrocities are high especially by the militants who consider women to be objects of sexual satisfaction and nothing more, they shoot their own people for opposing any ideology that one might differ from. People sympathizing with the militants often come up with an analogy where they dare and compare these militants to our freedom fighters stating that the blood they shed is as valuable as that of our freedom fighters. All sense of logic seems to have left such people.
Freedom fighters gave their lives for the country and not for one second did they shoot people for standing in favor of education. Their idea of opposition did not involve pelting stones and killing their own people, they stood for honor. Imagine comparing the likes of Burhan Wani and Ahmad Dar to Bhagat Singh and Rajguru. Let alone them being the same people, they are not even on the same planet.
The local tourism industry has come to a halt which in turn has increased unemployment and in turn forces the young blood in the valley to take up destructive steps. It is very important for the valley to understand that firstly, the issue of having a separate country with neighbors such as Pakistan and China is completely baseless. Not only will India suffer by losing land, states of Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana will come directly next to the border which is a big risk. Secondly Kashmir does not have the resources (especially skilled) and the only flourishing industry they had is in tatters. Noone runs a country by selling apples and saffron if you consider those an industry.
The point to be made is very clear, the prosperity of Kashmir does not lie in violence and the kind of protest being made. To put all of it in perspective, the tourism industry in the state is at the lowest in two decades. In 2017, hotels were offering discounts going as low as 70% in peak season! On the other hand occupancy was below 5% and went down to 1% when it came down to the houseboats which at one point of time in the past have had occupancy as high as 95%. All of the 19 cinemas in the Kashmir region have been closed down due to the risk of a terror attack.
“We are sitting idle for the last 400 days. For the first time we are facing the crisis of this magnitude since the early 1990s,” president of the Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Owners Federation, Javed Burza, told ET. “Business is so low that we can’t even count percentage to make sense of these negligible numbers.”
The drop in tourist activity can be attributed to the fact that from 11.71 lakh tourists in 2013, the number had dropped to 4.03 in 2016. Agents in metro cities don’t prioritize Kashmir as a tourist destination any more because of the obvious reasons involved. The condition is going to be further worsened because of the recent death of a tourist who succumbed to the injuries inflicted by the stonepelters in April, 2018. In the current scenario with the Governor’s rule in place chances look bleak, Mehbooba Mufti’s resignation speaks for her failures and the BJP led central government is in no mood to entertain such behaviour given last year’s Amarnath Yatra attack and the 2019 elections.
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