Another Season of Protests in Kashmir (Traveler POV)?

The government in Jammu and Kashmir has collapsed today, with the BJP pulling out of the alliance with PDP; J&K CM has given her resignation to the Governor, paving the way for President Rule in the state.

I am not going to get into the political nitty-gritty of this since I am neither a Kashmir nor security or political expert. But from the perspective of a traveler, I see uncertain and likely, turbulent times ahead, due to the following reasons:

  • Some people in Kashmir detest Indian rule and will likely raise their voice strongly against President Rule, which is going to be seen as direct meddling by the Central Government in Kashmir. This is coming in the backdrop of a UNHRC report which spoke of atrocities and human rights violation in POK and J&K as well as suspension of a unilateral cease-fire by the security forces.
  • The Amarnath Yatra is all set to begin from the 28th of June and historically, violence, as well as protests, go up around that time. This trend will likely continue or get worse.
  • With all parties in J&K bracing for elections and effectively washing their hands off of governance, blame game and rallying of carders will likely begin soon. Further flaming political tension, rhetoric, and passion.
  • Security forces will likely crack down harder and as a result, pushback from those opposing it would be equally harsh, feeding the vicious cycle.

Of course, all this is just my gut feeling and assumption, I pray and hope, none of this actually comes true. For it will not only be bad for everyone, it would deal another blow to the struggling tourism economy in Kashmir.

Floating flower shop in Dal Lake, Srinagar

Floating flower shop in Dal Lake, Srinagar

As a traveler, if I was planning to travel to Kashmir, I wouldn’t change my plans for Kashmir, just yet. But I would keep a close watch on the situation and would advise all to do the same.

Those planning to travel to Ladakh, don’t have to worry at all. It will be as peaceful as ever.

Rest only time will tell and I sincerely wish, I am proved wrong.


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