from India Insight:

More pilgrims mean more trouble for shrines in north India

June 28, 2013

Nestled in the Himalayas, Uttarakhand attracts increasing numbers of visitors every year. Between 2001 and 2010, the number of visitors to the state rose nearly 200 percent to 30.3 million. With major Hindu shrines located in the state, about 70 percent of the tourists who visit the state visit religious sites. That is a worrying sign for ecologically fragile areas such as Kedarnath – a small temple town located 3,583 metres (11,755 feet) above sea level and almost entirely washed out in recent flash floods.

from India Insight:

Finding harmony in music and Islam

February 20, 2013

The grand mufti whose words against music ended the short career of an all-girl teenage pop band in Kashmir last month made me wonder: is music really un-Islamic? He said that if women indulge in indecent, immoral acts such as singing, it would be a step toward their destruction. Is it really that simple in Islam? Of course it isn't.

from India Insight:

‘Nobody can stop you if you engage in art with dignity’: Zila Khan on singing and Islam

February 7, 2013

The members of Praagaash, an all-girl band in Kashmir, split up this week after an influential cleric deemed their music un-Islamic. Zila Khan, one of India’s most popular sufi singers and daughter of sitar maestro Vilayat Khan, spoke to Reuters about how singing is closest to worship and meditation and how children should be allowed to sing.

from India Insight:

Kashmir: we love you, we don’t love your mini-skirt

July 5, 2012

Imagine this: some tourists, from India and abroad, fly to Jammu and Kashmir, and are eager to escape the confines of Srinagar airport and to get themselves a lungful of that pristine Himalayan air.

from India Insight:

A Republic Day to forget for India’s opposition party

January 27, 2011

As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh watched India’s 61st Republic Day parade in the New Delhi sunshine on Wednesday morning, senior opposition leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley were in a Jammu prison, where they had spent a night under arrest.

from Photographers' Blog:

A job to do on the Srinagar streets

October 5, 2010

After offering special Eid prayers to mark the end of Ramadan, I got myself ready to cover the large Eid prayer congregation at Eid Gah in downtown Srinagar where senior separatist leader, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, was scheduled to address thousands of Muslims.

from India Insight:

Hindu pilgrims brave Kashmir violence to seek salvation at cave shrine

July 14, 2010

A combination photo shows Hindu holy men and pilgrims during their trek to the cave of Lord Shiva in Amarnath, 141 km southeast of Srinagar June 21, 2009. REUTERS/Fayaz Kabli/Files

Protest strikes, curfews and violent demonstrations have paralysed Muslim-majority Kashmir valley over the killing of 15 civilians in the past month and the deaths blamed on government forces.

In season of optimism, Kashmiri Hindus dream of returning home

By Reuters Staff
June 20, 2010

kashmirTwo decades after they were forced to flee Kashmir, thousands of Hindu Pandits seek to return to their ancestral homeland, their hopes lifted by a fall in Islamist rebel attacks against New Delhi’s rule.

from India Insight:

In Kashmir, nearly half favour independence

May 29, 2010

Nearly half of the people living in the Indian and Pakistani parts of Kashmir want their disputed and divided state to become an independent country, according to a poll published by think tank Chatham House.

Visitors banned from Kashmir shrine some claim is tomb of Jesus

By Reuters Staff
April 29, 2010
kashmir

A Kashmiri Muslim woman prays at the Rozabal Shrine in Srinagar on April 22, 2010/Danish Ismail