Hardline separatist leader and Dukhtaran-e-Millat chief Aasiya Andrabi has asked people to stay away from New Year celebrations in the Valley.
She termed such events as part of RSS’ plan to export “lewd” culture into Kashmir.
“A night-long programme is being organised by some unknown group ‘Kashmiryat’ on December 31 at Gulmarg. It is a cultural onslaught....these programs are being organised as part of the RSS agenda to spread the lewd culture in Kashmir,” said Andrabi in a statement.
“In the name of art, music and comedy, “shameless” actors of Bollywood have been invited. It is a clear attempt to counter the Islamic ideology of Kashmiris,” she said urging people to remain away from such programmes at any cost.
She said that the real culture of Kashmir is related to Islam where there is no place to celebrate events such as New Year.
This is not the first time Andrabi has opposed such events in Kashmir. The chief of the all- women separatist group came into limelight in the 90s with her “pro-hijab and burqa campaigns.” She was also known for her stiff opposition to Valentine’s Day celebrations. Andrabi has also campaigned against sale of liquor in the state.
In an effort to attract more tourists, the state’s tourism department has been sponsoring cultural events and organizing skiing and skating tournaments during this time of the year.
Talking to HT, a senior tourism official said this year’s event was being organised by a private group. “It’s an event management company which is organising the show some hoteliers are sponsoring it,” said the official who did not want to be named.
The department, in collaboration with the Ice Skating Association of India, is organising a four-day skating championship. It will be for the first time that the championship will be organised in Kashmir.
Commissioner secretary tourism, Farooq Shah, said sports enthusiasts from 20 states are expected to participate in the tournament.
Besides sports events, a music and comedy show will also be organised on December 31. The famous ski resort Gulmarg has been hosting cultural events on New Year eve for many years without any disruption or opposition. While the local participation is not much, the events are generally held to attract tourists to the famous resort in winter. “As skiing is a major attraction, increasing number of foreign and domestic tourists come to Kashmir in winter. Most hotels come out with New Year and Christmas packages. The cultural event is a very small part of such promotional activities. There is nothing lewd about it,’’ said a hotelier, who did not want to be named.