Why this commotion?
Kashmir valley has been on the edge since the past more than two weeks now. The flurry of orders issued by the state administration has been making things worse and yesterday the admin committed a big faux pass. The confusion among the administration is so deep rooted that during the morning the administration issues an order and by late evening the same orders are justified, simplified and people are advised to remain calm and composed.
On Friday when the day was progressing nicely across Kashmir, an order issued by the home department turned things upside down. The order not only announced cancellation of the Amarnath yatra but also advised the visiting tourists to flee from the valley at an earliest.
This order was enough to kick start a commotion everywhere. People ran helter-skelter like groping in the dark to lay their hands on everything and anything that they could grab. The situation turned alarming with fuel stations being virtually swarmed by people who tried to jostle their way in to get the fuel tanks of their vehicles filled to the brim.
The situation was no different on various grocery stores and rice shops. People were in a mad rush and the madness continued till late in the night. By that time the administration too had perhaps realized their folly and a firefighting mode button was pressed and some officials of the administration tried to pacify the people and assure them that all is well.
However, by the time the administration decided to go for some damage control, the beans had been spilled. The damage that the orders could inflict has been done and there was hardly any measure left that could bring the situation back to where it was in the morning.
The annual Amaranth pilgrimage that has been going on since the peak days of militancy is being conducted with the support and help from the local populace. This example of mutual brotherhood and communal harmony was the real take away from the entire episode of conducting this yatra.
However, by announcing that the yatra is under threat and cancelling it, the administration has undermined the efforts and selfless devotion of the common people mostly, Muslims who devoted their time and efforts to make the yatra a symbol of tolerance and harmony.
There have been numerous instances when the yatra was attacked and several yatris lost their lives as well. But even during those testing times the yatra continued till its stipulated time and the administration alongwith the support of the local’s populace managed to keep this tradition of communal harmony alive.
Ironically, the same spirit was not reflected yesterday. The administration by resorting to all such measures that could trigger more panic among the tourists and travelers here directed the private airlines to operate more flights to airlift yatris and tourists from Srinagar. This move not only has damaged any future prospect for the tourism Industry in the coming months but has raised all their hopes of ensuring a good tourist footfall to ground.
The advisories issued yesterday will have a long term repercussions and fall out, much greater that the admin could even comprehend.