Cinemas reopen in Indian-controlled Kashmir after more than two decades

The Deputy Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha, inaugurated the latest cinema in the disputed region on Tuesday, in a gala that saw a lot of hustle and bustle.

“(The opening) is a reflection of a new dawn of hope, dreams, confidence and aspirations of the people,” Sinha told reporters outside the stage in Srinagar, India’s largest city, describing it as a “historic” day, according to the press. India trust.

The theater held a special screening of Lal Singh Chadha, the Bollywood remake of “Forrest Gump”, which stars two of India’s biggest stars, Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor.

The cinema will open to the public on September 30, according to businessman, Vijay Dhar, who has partnered with Indian cinema chain Inox Leisure Ltd. , to inaugurate the theater in Srinagar.

“I’m doing this from the heart. It’s for Kashmir, it’s for the national interest,” Dhar told CNN.

“Bollywood and Kashmir have a long relationship,” he said. “A lot of old Bollywood films were shot in Kashmir. We would like Bollywood to come back and create the same atmosphere.”

Inox Leisure Ltd said it was “overjoyed” about the opening in a Twitter post, adding that it was “the beginning of a new era”.

Extremism closes the doors of cinema

Kashmir is one of the most dangerous flashpoints in the world. Both India and Pakistan claim the mountainous region as the epicenter of more than 70 years of often violent regional conflict between the two nuclear-armed neighbours. An actual border called the Line of Control divides it between New Delhi and Islamabad.

In the late 1980s, a violent insurgency in Indian-controlled Kashmir claimed the lives of more than 9,000 civilians according to the Indian government, although estimates vary. Cinemas were forced to close in the aftermath.

Authorities tried to reopen them, but a deadly militant attack on Regal Cinemas in 1999 thwarted those efforts, the Press Trust of India reports.

In 2019, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi revoked the semi-autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir and formally divided the former state into two union territories, giving the government in New Delhi greater control over the disputed Muslim-majority region.

After the move, Modi imposed a near-total telecom blackout for more than two and a half months – in a move that local leaders have harshly criticized and sparked protests.

India said the move to abolish this status is aimed at ensuring that the country’s laws are equal for all citizens and to increase economic development in the region, as well as to end separatism and terrorism that Pakistan has allegedly supported and abetted.

Since then, the Indian government has introduced a series of policies which it claims will bring development to the region.

Last year, the government implemented a policy aimed at promoting Indian-controlled Kashmir as a popular filming destination.

“A well nurtured film industry can be a major source of wealth creation, employment generation and an effective tool and platform for preserving the culture and expression of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” she said. “The industry can enhance the potential of Jammu and Kashmir as an investment and tourism destination.”

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.