New Delhi Not Buying But Establishing Peace In Kashmir: LG

KO Photo By Abid Bhat

  • Inaugurates Kashmir’s First Ever Multiplex In Srinagar
  • Says Every District To Have 100-seater Cinema Halls

Srinagar- Terming the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status on August 5, 2019 as a historic day, the Union Territory Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha said on Tuesday that New Delhi is not trying to buy peace in J&K, but to establish it permanently.

Sinha made these remarks while addressing a gathering at the inaugural ceremony of the Kashmir’s first ever multiplex at Shivpora here on Tuesday morning.

The multiplex has a seating capacity of at least 520 people and has 3 cinema halls. It has been beautifully designed and has the latest sound systems installed. A special screening of Aamir Khan-starrer ‘Lal Singh Chaddha’ was held after the inauguration ceremony.
The regular shows will start from September 30 with the screening of Vikram Vedha, starring Hrithik Roshan and Saif Ali Khan.

The LG said that movie lovers are everywhere in Kashmir and cinemas have a great history in the Valley.

“Today, all cinema lovers are here. There used to be a time in Kashmir, when locals in large numbers would throng cinemas to watch movies along with friends and families. Cinemas wouldn’t just provide them opportunities to think and dream big but also entertain them,” the LG said.

He further said that in May, 1965, a Bollywood blockbuster, Jaanwar starring famous Bollywood actor Shammi Kapoor was screened at Srinagar’s famous Broadway cinema and Shammi’s love for Kashmir was such that he had asked his family members to immerse his mortal remains in Dal Lake. “Shammi ji was so connected with Kashmir that he’d openly call himself ‘Kashmir ka Kadu’(Kashmir’s Bitter-Gourd),” Sinha said, adding that Kashmiri people were starved of entertainment for 30 years.

But today, the LG noted, this first multiplex will provide the people of Kashmir a chance to relax and entertain themselves.

“Under Mission Youth, J&K administration will set up 100-seater cinema halls in every district of UT,” the LG said, adding “A society isn’t built of stones but of people.”

He said Srinagar was once known as the hub of entertainment, as the district had eight fanfared cinemas functional.

“Today, we are trying to revive that lost era again. And the opening of this Cinema reflects the changing picture of J&K. Now, the new Kashmir will be shown on a 70mm picture,” he said.

Launching a scathing attack at regional mainstream leaders of the Valley, Sinha said that some people had kept Kashmir away from this entertainment for 3 decades while they created an entertainment for themselves in Kashmir and outside the valley.

“Those who ruled J&K for years, used to fly outside the state and even foreign countries for their own entertainment while all means of entertainment remained choked for the local populace,” Sinha said, adding that these people had betrayed the people of Kashmir.

The LG said that August 5 was a historic day when a massive decision was taken by the Indian parliament and Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

“The government at New Delhi is not trying to buy peace in J&K, but to establish it permanently,” he said, adding that people of Kashmir today can see what they craved for the past 30 years.

However, the LG quickly added that the new administration only believes in the dictum ‘Don’t harm the harmless and don’t spare the harmful’.

Commenting on the new film policy, the LG said that a lot of movies are already shot in Kashmir and many more are in the pipeline.

“A Film city will also be set up in J&K. The land for the film city has already been identified and we will see the results in the next two months,” he said.

The J&K LG strictly noted that the administration will give innumerable incentives to young filmmakers, irrespective of film’s screen time, under the new film policy so that more and more local youth are employed. “I can assure you all that we’re trying every possible thing to develop J&K, both socially and economically,” LG Manoj Sinha said.

Later in a Tweet, the LG wrote that the inauguration of multiplex was a reflection of a new dawn of hope, dreams, confidence and aspirations of people.

“Inaugurated INOX multiplex theatre in Srinagar. Congratulations to the people, Sh. Vijay Dhar & INOX Group. A major socio-economic revolution is sweeping through J&K in the last 3 years,” Sinha tweeted.

The multiplex has three movie theatres with a total capacity of 520 seats, besides a food court aimed at promoting the local cuisine.To maintain Kashmir’s art and design, wood-carved “khatambandh” has been used in the lobbies.

Vijay Dhar, the brainchild behind the project, had started construction work on the multiplex at Shivpora near Badami Bagh Cantonment, around two years ago.

Dhar also runs Delhi Public School (DPS) Srinagar, a prominent school in the city. His sons Vikas and Vishal are keenly working at the project, first of its kind in the Valley.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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