Tourism is big business in India and according to new figures released on Wednesday, business is booming.
Plagued by endless corruption accusations, vast overspending claims and huge construction delays, you would be forgiven for thinking none of Delhi’s inhabitants were overjoyed about the city’s upcoming Commonwealth Games.
Suddenly, it is not cool to be against the scandal-plagued Commonwealth Games.
The CWG was meant to be Delhi’s big coming-out party, India’s assertion that it is a global powerhouse capable of doing what China did with the Beijing Summer Olympics two years ago.
Kashmir has been seething since early June. Life across the Muslim-majority valley has been completely disrupted by curfews and protest strikes since some of the biggest anti-India demonstrations in two years erupted a month ago.
Europe-bound passengers were still stranded at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi airport on Tuesday, five days after European airports were cut off from the rest of the world by a huge volcanic ash cloud. Some of the affected travellers spoke to Reuters at the airport about their desperate efforts to get home.
The Indian army says rebel violence will escalate in Kashmir in summer as hundreds of militants are waiting in the Pakistani part of Kashmir to infiltrate into the Indian side and step up attacks.
The chief of Kashmir’s moderate separatist alliance recently met a Chinese delegation in Geneva, the first such contact by Kashmiri separatists with Chinese officials since a simmering discontent against Indian rule broke out in 1989.