Jammu and Kashmir’s deputy governor, Manoj Sinha, opened the disputed region’s newest cinema on Tuesday, in a ceremony marked with much hype and fanfare.
“(The opening) is a reflection of a new dawn of people’s hope, dreams, confidence and aspirations,” Sinha told reporters outside the theater in Indian Kashmir’s largest city, Srinagar, calling it a day ” historical”, according to the press. India Trust.
The theater held a special screening of the movie “Lal Singh Chaddha”, a Bollywood remake of “Forrest Gump” starring two of India’s biggest superstars, Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor.
The cinema will open to the public on September 30, according to businessman Vijay Dhar, who has teamed up with Indian cinema chain Inox Leisure Ltd., to open the cinema in Srinagar.
“I am doing this from the heart. This is for Kashmir, this is for the national interest,” Dhar told CNN.
“Bollywood and Kashmir have a long connection,” he said. “Many old Bollywood movies were shot in Kashmir. We would like Bollywood to come back, to create the same atmosphere.”
Inox Leisure Ltd. said it was “beyond euphoric” about the opening in a post on Twitter, adding that it was the “start of a new era”.
Militancy closes the doors of the cinema
Kashmir is one of the most dangerous hotspots in the world. Claimed entirely by India and Pakistan, the mountainous region has been the epicenter for more than 70 years of an often violent turf struggle between the nuclear-armed neighbors. A de facto border called the Line of Control divides it between New Delhi and Islamabad.
Authorities tried to reopen them, but a deadly attack by militants at the Regal Cinema in 1999 thwarted those efforts, the Press Trust of India reported.
In 2019, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status and officially split the former state into two union territories, giving the New Delhi government more control over the disputed majority-majority region. muslim.
After the move, Modi imposed a near-total communications blackout for more than two and a half months, in a move that was widely criticized by local leaders and sparked protests.
India said the move to revoke the status was to ensure the nation’s laws were equal for all citizens and to increase economic development in the region, as well as to end separatism and terrorism, which it alleges was aided and abetted by Pakistan.
Since then, the Indian government has introduced a series of policies that it claims will bring development to the region.
“A well-nourished film industry can be an important source of wealth creation, employment generation and an effective tool and platform for the preservation of the culture and expression of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said. “The industry can promote the potential of Jammu and Kashmir as a tourism and investment destination.”