GK EXCLUSIVE | Kashmir's unique socio-cultural influence gives a thought process to sub-continent: Kerala Governor

Saying that Kashmir with its unique socio-cultural influence has given a “thought process” to the people in the sub-continent and globally, Governor of Kerala, Arif Muhammad Khan, on Saturday said that time has come for Centre to create a “great connect” between Kashmir and other cultures across India.

In an exclusive interview to the Greater Kashmir in Srinagar, Khan said he was elated to witness the overall growth amid many speculations in Jammu and Kashmir.

“I indeed need a better vocabulary to describe the beauty and hospitality of Kashmir,” he said.

“I have been coming to Kashmir since the 1980s and it is always great to learn new things as far as Kashmir’s socio-cultural and linguistic happenings are concerned,” he said, adding, “Kashmir’s unique socio-cultural influence gives a thought process to the sub-continent.”

Governor Arif Muhammad Khan, who has been always hogging the newspaper headlines for his strong remarks, said, “Kashmir is our essence. Kashmir is our crown. It is our head and we must do everything to be economically rich.”

‘Kerala and Kashmir’:

The Governor said that there was so much similarity between Kerala and Kashmir. “Culturally and socially, the places match. We need to take a few further steps in order to connect the two extreme places.” He said in Kashmir, the hospitality is unmatchable and it was the USP of the Kashmir region.

“Whenever you land in Kashmir, it is not just the beauty of Kashmir, but people, their hospitality, literature and music, that enchants the visitors and travellers,” Khan said. “When one considers the range, volume and tone of the literature from Kashmir, we realise the extent to which they have contributed, and continue to strengthen literature produced from this beautiful place.”

Khan said that initiatives must be taken by the Jammu and Kashmir government to promote the handicrafts and handloom products of Jammu and Kashmir in rest of the states of India, including Kerala. “The artisans of Kashmir need more avenues of trade, then their story will be charming,” he said.

“We (Kerala) will heart-warmingly open the doors to the Kashmiri entrepreneurs, businessmen and artisans,” Khan said. He asked the J&K government, led by LG Manoj Sinha, to take initiatives in this regard. “Come to Kerala. We will give you space in prominent cities and towns of Kerala for holding the business summits and handicraft expos,” Khan assured.

Khan was appointed as the Governor of Kerala in 2019. He is the first ever BJP leader since 2004 to be appointed as the Governor of Kerala.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor J&K, Manoj Sinha in an exclusive interview to the Greater Kashmir said that there was a greater need to take remarkable steps in order to bring a wave of “positivity, peace and process.”

“We are in a process to take several pro-people initiatives which we believe are going to bring great change on the ground,” Sinha said. He said that the PM has already enhanced the tourism development budget and the Jammu and Kashmir government was working hard to open several tourist destinations. “We recently opened 11 hiking destinations which has given a flip to our tourist influx,” he said.

Sinha asked tourists coming to Jammu and Kashmir to be goodwill ambassadors. “The tourists and visitors must be the goodwill ambassadors of J&K and carry the message to their respective areas that J&K is an ideal and safe tourist destination,” the Lt Governor asked the tourists.  He assured the tourists a safe and pleasant visit to Jammu and Kashmir, saying that the tourism department, local community and other stakeholders were collectively providing tourists a friendly environment to facilitate their visit.

The Lieutenant Governor and the Kerala Governor later inaugurated the 5-day long tulip festival in Srinagar.