Ice, ice maybe
If the People’s Republic can go into an overdrive in terms of filling what Beijing calls the Tibet Autonomous Region, then New Delhi opening up Siachen to Indian civilians is only natural.india Updated: Sep 13, 2007 22:36 IST
So it seems we’ve taken a leaf out of the Chinese book. If the People’s Republic can go into an overdrive in terms of filling what Beijing calls the Tibet Autonomous Region, then New Delhi opening up Siachen to Indian civilians is only natural. But hang on. Unlike in the case for Tibet, nobody really wants to settle down and play his part in the project to balance the ratio of local-outsider demographics in the highest conflict zone in the world — especially when the only ‘locals’ happen to be Indian armymen who dream of a Goa posting in the frozen wastelands.
But with Extreme Sports comes Extreme Travel. Some 20 civilians are about to set off to Siachen in October, hoping to trek around the over-16,000 feet landscape. The adventurous lot, sponsored by adventure clubs, will be taken around the tourist coldspots by armymen. One hopes that touts don’t sprout too quickly in this untouched region as Bengalis in monkey caps and Tamils in sunny moods trudge about the mountainside politely asking our brave jawans if they could please take a snap with that scraggy peak in the background.
Who would have known that the India-Pakistan ceasefire from the Siachen Glacier up to the Line of Control below declared in 2003 would lead up to this tourist possibility? The place, which some joker named ‘the place of wild roses’, may become the next favourite song’n’dance destination for Bollywood movies. Just like Kashmir Valley during Shammi Kapoor’s days.