Need for reviving cinema in Kashmir

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The residents of Kashmir indeed would be feeling anguished that after a long-long time a film-ROCKSTAR was shot extensively in Kashmir, but they cannot see their heaven unfold itself on the silver screen as Kashmir does not show any cinema in the cinema halls. Neelam cinema hall, which was the oldest cinema hall, downed its shutters more than a year ago and there was no protest or a murmur of dissent against its closure.

It however seems that the government of the day realizes the fact that the citizens of the state need to be brought into the mainstream of the progress that the country is experiencing and there is no better way to introduce to it than through the medium of cinema. After all, cinema when it uses the different parts of the country as a landscape in the frame of shoot, also factors in the progress as also the developments around the country side. Cinema in fact is a window to what is happening outside the domain where one resides, and also injects aspirations and catalyzes the urge to imbibe the path of growth that citizens in different parts of the world are attaining. 

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Citizens across the country throng the cinema halls when a film is shot in their locality to view the magic of their surrounding unfold on the giant screen. Dev Anand, for example had so much fascination for Shimla that he used to shoot one or two frames of Shimla in his films, and it has been reported in the local editions of newspapers that right from the times of TERE GHAR KE SAMNE residents of Shimla used to throng cinema halls to see their lovely city. 

Residents of Kashmir valley also would be experiencing the sense of loss of not being able to see their beautiful state on the silver screen, though the whole world is seeing it. So, if the political dispension is contemplating about opening up of cinema halls, as conscious citizens and as advocates for broad-banding of outreach of cinema, we need to support the cause. 

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After all, cultural exposition is best expressed through the cinematic lenses and it has tremendous outreach in spreading the message of goodwill. When cinema halls open it also leads to injection of exposure of different genre of cinema from around the world, or for that matter of different languages from the country itself. Such exposure helps in generation of ideas, exchange of views and infusion of new thought processes into the mainstream of thinking public discourse. 

Those who are opposing this initiative of the government have at the back of their mind the lurking fear that once the waves of fresh air get injected through cinema and exposure to new ideas and ideologies is provided, the citizens may start thinking beyond the narrow visions that has been rattled down their throats for quite a long time. 

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The time has come for the citizens of the country and the opinion makers of the country to stand up and be counted by supporting the initiative of the government of Kashmir. It would open up new avenues of employment and could be the catalyst that Kashmir may have been waiting upon to turn a new maple leaf. 

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