Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Guest post.                                                                
                                    Jamaat Dress Code
                                                                             Azeem M Shah
 "Do not wear skimpy clothes." -  This is with what
Jamat-e-Islami (a politico-religious organisation) has warned andthreatened tourists visiting the valley this summer and asked the Tourismdepartment to enforce it. The diktat came very recently and has evokedsharp criticism from all the quarters of society including thestake-holders of tourism industry of Kashmir, who do not want anydisturbance impacting their businesses and tourists inflow. The Jamatjustifies its stand by linking the types of clothes particularly worn byforeign tourists with Kashmir's 'ethos' and 'culture'  and fears that thelocals might get influenced by the western culture. This is how theorganisation is doing the business that does not belong to them at all.However, this year alone, the number of tourists visiting the valley hasbeen more than 400,000 so far (excluding Amarnath pilgrims).
               Oftenly we cry aloud and reason out with the 'Right ofChoice' / 'Right to wear' when Muslim women in selected european countriesare deprived of wearing 'Burqa' ; but why we crib when others' same rightis sapped in the name of religion, culture and modesty? And who will decidewhat is modest and acceptable at different places? Suely not anorgansiation working as a religious group and intimidating visitors withextreme consequences.  It is pertinent to mention here that the touristsacross the world  have been visiting Kashmir for a very long time and arenow conscious about their outfits in accordance with the places they visit.So, sermoning them to desist from wearing and wandering "indecently" isabsolutely needless.
                Moreover, it's worldly known that Kashmir's hospitalitymakes it fully a paradise and whatever has happened in the past has notchanged the basic behaviour and goodness of its people, thereby luring moreand more visitors to come and enjoy themselves. And more importantly,people who visit the valley from across the globe get to know about itshappenings threadbare; be it beautiful tourist resorts, culture, customs,people, governance or even the conflict, they have plenty of observationsand memories to carry them back along and that leads to a larger audienceoutside Kashmir. Now what the Jamat's diktat would do, is that it wouldremarkably affect the foreign tourist-count and fear among them as aresult, local businessmen would feel the impact as well.
Jamat-e-Islami being an organsiation of 'religious activism' and 'KashmirFreedom Movement' must respect and recognise the freedom of people of otherregions and religions also, and try to project themselves as a logicalIslamic front rather than mere 'fanatical' body.

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