Wahid Bhat | Srinagar
Even as the country continues to debate the repercussions of the Modi led government scrapping Kashmir’s special status, it looks like most people have marriage on their minds, especially those living in West Bengal.
At least that’s what a quick peek at Google search trends suggests, with West Bengal emerging as the sub-region with the highest search results for ‘Marry Kashmir girl’, while others in Tripura really want to know more about girls from the Valley. People in Karnataka and Maharashtra are also curious according to the data from Google Trends.
This appears to be happening after a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader from Muzaffarnagar sparked a row on Tuesday, August 6, when he proclaimed that the party workers were “excited” because they will now be able to get married to “fair girls from Kashmir”, followed with many “misogynistic” members of the Twitterverse letting their fantasies run loose.
Home Minister Amit Shah announced on Monday, August 5, that the Indian government had taken the controversial decision to revoke Article 370 and Article 35A. Not only did this take away Kashmir’s special status, but it also came against the backdrop of an internet blockade and communication blackout in Kashmir. But while people in Kashmir can’t access the internet after more than three days of the ongoing blackout, it seems like most people want in on what now may be on the table.
The revoking of Article 370 has not only spurred the sentiment of buying and selling land in the state that has been known as ‘Paradise on Earth’— including fake news about property up for grabs going viral—but people also appear to be looking to marry Kashmiri women. Even as this appalls women’s rights activists, who have slammed such statements on marrying girls from Kashmir as sexist and chauvinistic, people clearly still want to know more and are promptly taking assistance from Google.
Meanwhile, those planning to buy property in the Valley are mostly from Delhi, with the sub-region having the highest number of searches for ‘Move to Kashmir’, ‘How to buy property in Kashmir’ and ‘Buy land in Kashmir’, followed by Haryana and Jharkhand in terms of land, Maharashtra in terms of property and Tamil Nadu in terms of those considering the move.