My parents, like many other people of their generation, went to Kashmir for their honeymoon. They loved the place so much that they went there again. In fact, I have grown up listening to various anecdotes about Kashmir and its beauty. Bollywood movies of the time were also in love with the place.
My second-hand experience about Kashmir was enough for me to want to go there for a holiday. However, I was not willing to take the risk. It was dangerous and unpredictable. Recently, my husband, who too was keen on visiting the place, convinced me that all was normal for tourists in Kashmir. After reading a lot about the current situation online and discussing with some people, we booked our tickets a few days back.
I was very excited. I really wanted to visit the ‘Heaven on Earth’, as it is popularly called. Sadly, things started changing a couple of days after we booked our tickets. When I got to know that there was a threat of a terrorist attack, I was very dejected. I thought no wonder people didn’t go there for a holiday and that I was silly to have taken a chance.
My dejection soon turned into happiness when I got to know about the government’s plan. The government has not only scrapped Article 370, but also is working towards bifurcating the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories – Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh. It has taken some other decisive steps towards returning normalcy to the state (err… guess, I should now say ‘Union Territory’). The newspapers and news channels are full of the details, so I would not repeat them here.
The point I am driving at is that I am very happy. I have no remorse about my cancelled holiday to a place I have wanted to visit for ages. I am looking at the bigger picture and the greater good. I am proud of our government for taking some decisive steps and moving beyond the usual ‘discussions’ and ‘mediations’. Hopefully, the government is able to solve the hitherto ‘unsolvable’ problem.
Even if the current decision does not prove to be a success, which seems unlikely, I am happy. I am happy because I can see someone ‘trying’ and not just doing ‘lip-service’. In no way do I mean to say that none of the previous governments made any efforts, but they had not been strong or decisive enough. In contrast is the current government that is focusing on action that leads to results. I like the demeanour, the candour, the strictness, the preparedness, the willingness, the resolve and the determination of the government to move forward.
It is always better to try and fail rather than to not try at all. If my opinion matters, I am with the government in its resolve to solve the Kashmir issue. Hope other people also support the government in its endeavour to work towards a solution. The least or perhaps the only thing that the common (wo)man like you and me can do is to show support to the government. Positive public opinion can assure the government that its people are with it in its decision. It can motivate the government to keep working hard.
Before I end, let me correct my earlier statement. My Kashmir holiday doesn’t stand ‘cancelled’, but only ‘postponed’. I will surely go to Kashmir some day. If all goes well, the Kashmir that I will visit would have actually become the ‘Heaven on Earth’ that it used to be before selfish interests of a few people ruined the state. In fact, many more people would throng the place, if things get normal soon. Right now, all I can say is, “Good luck to the government, to the Kashmiris, and all other Indian citizens!”