Should cinemas theatres be reopened in Kashmir?

Should cinemas theatres be reopened in Kashmir?


While shooting for his upcoming film Bajrangi Bhaijaan, actor Salman Khan was mesmerized by the beauty of Kashmiri villages and the locales. He expressed his desire to premier his films in Kashmir if only theatres could be reopened in the only heaven on earth, the Switzerland of Asia. Separatists were quick to show their twitchy nose and gave the message that they would not allow theatres to open again at any cost. Nearly 80 films have been shot in Kashmir, people there also love cinemas like any Indian would but are still deprived of the right to have some respite hours with family and friends. There are no theatres, multiplexes, 70mm screens where people can enjoy a good movie and hence they have to watch movies on pirated DVDs. Should the government make attempts at reopening movies theatres in Kashmir?


1. Recreation and entertainment is the rights of citizens and if we consider Kashmir a part of us, they should be getting equal rights as we get. Separatists might claim religious reasons and politicians will accuse each other but the fact remains that people in Kashmir love Bollywood movies and they do want to watch the same on big screens. Separatists are a bunch of frustrated people who have nothing to be happy about in their own lives and want to prevent everyone from being happy. It is time the government intervened.

2. If superstars and actors like Salman Khan can premier their movies in Kashmir it will once again boost tourism industry of the state. Even during a previous movie Salman Khan had shown interest in this matter but was unable to voice it out. If B-Town can come together to support the cause, Kashmir will see multiplexes frequented by superstars in years to come.

3. When movies could be screened and shot in Kashmir amidst high security, cinemas theatres can also be operational if the government can promise the same kind of security it gives to crews and starts of films. In the past few years many movies have been successfully shot in Kashmir. Haider, Heropanti, Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani and many more have been screened and shot in Kashmir yet the people of the region cannot watch these movies on big screens.

4. Radical groups have been enforcing their will in the region since 1989. People are restrained against their wills. Closing of liquor shops is the only good thing they would have done all their life but they need to be reminded that there is no harm in entertainment and that they need to stop being the ugly step-mother-hen for the entire region. People are sane enough to decide if movies are good or bad for them.

5. CM Mufti surprisingly approves of his only son Tasasduq choosing film as his career after obtaining a degree in cinematography from an American school. His son has worked as cinematographer in the film Omkara. So we know the CM approves of movies being shot in Kashmir but has nothing to do about theatres reopening in the region. He dares not annoy the separatists and the militants.


1. Kashmiris do not wish for recreation at present. All they ask for is a resolution of the conflict that could bring them peace. They live in constant fear of lives in danger and lot many issues. Instead of boosting tourism industry, if only the CM of the state and PM of country could concentrate on driving off the terror industry that is ruling the heaven for a long long time.

2. Salman khan wanting to reopen theatres is pure business on his benefits. Earlier on many occasions Bollywood has come forward to show interest in reopening cinemas in Kashmir but what has the contribution of cinemas been to bring to light the plights of Kashmiris? Most of them revolve around showing terror activities in the region backed by ISI Pakistan. A single movie which was not mainstream, Haider was under controversy forever. What do we expect to show them? The brutality of extremists to which they have been witnesses since forever? Or how the outside world is ignorant of their plights?

3. Even if multiplexes and theatres are opened in Kashmir, chances are that very few people will show the courage to visit them, given the threats of separatists and terrorists. Why would they risk their already uncertain lives in an attempt to get some entertainment? Previous instances when Farooq Abdullah tried to reopen cinemas had bad consequences. Even when security was tightened, nobody turned up.

4. Famous poet and historian Zareef Ahmed Zareef has hit at the bull's eye when he said, "They (those advocating for reopening cinemas) should try to know why the cinemas are defunct. We are suffering from headache and these people are trying to treat our feet. The main disease is Kashmir issue which awaits resolution for decades. Re-opening of cinemas will not cure this disease."

5. Armed rebellion is said to have begun in Kashmir soon after people were inspired from a movie. A new resolution for freedom began when Moustapha Akkad’s 1981 Libyan historic action film Lion of the Desert was screened in 1985, in Srinagar's popular Regal Cinema. It is after watching this movie, that showed a movement against Mussolini, that many youth crossed over to Pakistan to take weapons. Movies in Kashmir is still feared by some as medium of instilling aggression in youth.


There are both pros and cons of reopening theatres and multiplexes in Kashmir. If not all, at least some selected movies can be premiered in the cinemas of Kashmir. Security could be tightened just like they do for the cast and crew of movies. CM and centre can together make an effort to make this work and the tourism industry would see daylight once again. Furthermore, reopening cinemas in Kashmir would also mean an attempt to end the dictatorial tyranny of separatists and militants. PDP and BJP had together taken oaths to make Kashmir the heaven of peace once again. It is time to prove that the coalition was not just a political compromise but a joint attempt to bring back peace.
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  • RE: Should cinemas theatres be reopened in Kashmir? -Deepa Kaushik (06/06/15)
  • Good topic to discuss; the topic would have been more apt if we could have called "Cinemas and theatres or Life and security for Kashmiris?" Security and safetry always takes an edge over entertainment andrecreation. thisis the main reason why nobody turned out hen Farookh Abdullah tried to reopen the theatres.

    Salman Khan is a bollywood star who carries the tag of VIP and gets special security measures to safeguard his life. This cannot be the same case with every Kashmiri citizen coming to watch cinemas. We can give long speeches remaining at the other shore. But it is equally difficult to live through the life and death situation every moment.

    We can understand that Kashmiris being our brotherens have equal right to enjoy movies in theatres. But if we really have true care for them, we should be serious regarding the years long lingering-on issue in Kashmir. It is definitely their life which is much precious and valuable for us than the mode of entertainment in the form of theatres.

    Even if we go ahead and take the risk of re-opening the theatres, it would hardly generate any revenue as the citizens would barely visit these theatres in the fear of their security. To be precise, though not a delightful decision, yet we should not consider the re-opening of the theatres at Kashmir, keeping their security as the chief concern.