oppn parties Without Internet And Mobile Telephony, Tourists Are Unlikely To Visit Kashmir

News Snippets

  • In reply to a question in Parliament, the government says it is empowered to lawfully intercept, monitor or decrpyt information stored in a computer resource in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India
  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
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Without Internet And Mobile Telephony, Tourists Are Unlikely To Visit Kashmir

By A Special Correspondent

The administration in Jammu & Kashmir has lifted the ban on tourists entering the state. But does it seriously think that anyone who thinks about the safety of family and self would consider visiting the valley now? With heavy security and barricading, absence of mobile telephony and internet, restrictions on movement within the valley, doubts over finding local transport and self-imposed shutdown of commercial establishments, even the brave hearts who do go will certainly not find themselves in ‘paradise’.

In any case, since things are not clear now, no amount of goading by the government can make people from the rest of India make Kashmir their next tourist destination in a hurry. Although the presence of so many security men can give feeling of safety, tourists will always be wary of the situation going out of hand at any time. Although some might be tempted by the rock bottom rates for both flight tickets and hotel rooms, safety concerns will put a dampener on the plans.

The government, on the other hand, is playing two cards. On the one hand it is trying to show the international community that things are slowly returning to normal in the valley. If tourists start visiting the state and if they do not face problems, there will be positive media reporting leading to an environment of trust and harmony.

On the other hand, the government is trying to provide the local population with a means to resume earning their livelihood. There is no doubt that tourism provides the livelihood for a large number of Kashmiris, directly or indirectly. Hence, if tourists start coming and raise the demand for goods and services, the self-imposed shutdown of most commercial establishments will be lifted. It is absolutely essential for normalcy to keep the local people occupied and provide them a means to earn money. Opening the state for tourists is the best way to do that.

But if the government wants tourists to come in large numbers it is absolutely essential that mobile telephony and internet services are restored in the valley. In this digital age, connectivity is a huge issue and no one likes to be out of touch with his near ones or his business contacts even for an hour. Hence, no one will think of going to Kashmir for a week if he or she knows that he or she will become incommunicado for that length of time. The government must find another way to prevent the misuse of social media since a blanket ban on internet and mobile telephony will prove a deterrent for tourism.