While praise is heaped on tourism, its actual contribution to Kashmir’s economy is unknown [Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera – Opinion – Al Jazeera English]
For a second summer in a row, the Indian establishment and media are agog with Kashmir’s bumper tourism season.
The heavy inflow of tourists, after a gap of 23 years, when India had practically sealed off Kashmir to the outside world, is interpreted as a loss of popular appetite in Kashmir for dissident politics. The constant refrain is that the Kashmiri dissidents, who don’t accept Kashmir’s union with India as final, no longer command the popular support they did a couple of years back. The inability of the dissident leaders to mobilise Kashmiris on the scale as in 2008 and 2010, when hundreds of thousands of Kashmiris rose up against Indian rule, defying severe clampdowns, braving bullets and teargas canisters, is also portrayed as a sign of the transforming political climate in Kashmir.