"Salman Khan is acting like an Indian agent to help cultural aggression of Kashmir by India," said Asiya Andrabi, chief of women's separatist group 'Dukhtaran-e-Millat' (Daughters of Faith) while addressing a press conference in Srinagar reacting to Salman's request to open cinema halls in Kashmir once again. 'Dukhtaran-e-Millat' was one of the radical groups that campaigned against cinema halls, beauty parlours, wine shops and video parlours in the Valley in 1990s and forced their closure.
"We will not allow cinema halls to function in Kashmir. Whatever be the cost," said Asiya. She alleged that India was trying to export 'immoral' and 'un-Islamic' beliefs into Kashmir through cinema and for this agents like Salman Khan were being used. Khan on his part was asked by a journalist during a press conference in Sonmarg recently if his latest film Bajrangi Bhaijaan will be releasing in Kashmir, to which he replied that there have to be cinema theaters where one can watch films in Kashmir. He had also said that instead of watching films on pirated DVDs people ought to watch movies on the big screen with proper sound. At the same press conference Salman urged people to flock Kashmir and labeled it as the most fascinating tourist destination in the world. He also posted some breathtaking pictures of Kashmir on Twitter yesterday.
At a promotional press conference for Welcome 2 Karachi in Srinagar recently, the local media constantly enquired from the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Secretary Shailendra Kumar about closed cinema halls in Kashmir. The local media relentlessly requested the Tourism Secretary to help open cinema halls in Kashmir so that the cinema loving Kashmiris can watch Hindi films which they manage to watch only on pirated DVDs or on TV.
Floods have pushed back Kashmir by many decades. The infrastructure is in bad shape. Tourism is in shambles. The locals desperately want Tourists to flock the Paradise. Any sane mind should support practicality and progressiveness instead of promoting regressive mindset that has destroyed countries like Afghanistan, Iraq and even Pakistan to a large extent. Salman Khan is one of the most popular actors in Kashmir. Vishal Bhardwaj tried to capture the madness for Khan in Kashmir by dedicating two characters on Salman in his last release Haider. Ms Asiya should be thanking Salman for helping in spreading the word on "Peaceful Kashmir" rather than passing pointless judgments that don't have popular approval.