Farooq Khan, Advisor to Lieutenant Governor has urged the Bollywood to revive its decades’ old romance with Kashmir to promote it as a cherished tourist destination globally.
The Advisor was speaking at a function organised by ‘Spandan Arts’ in connection with presentation of 11th Mohammed Rafi awards here last evening.
Addressing the jam-packed gathering including top Bollywood stars, producers, directors and singers, Advisor Khan, who was the chief guest on the occasion, said that Jammu and Kashmir is a place known not only for its hospitality but also for its serene and picturesque locations. “This is not a place of terrorism, but a paradise of tourism,” he said and added that unfortunately a negative perception has been created about Kashmir to the outside world while the ground reality is entirely different.
“To see the reality on ground, you will have to visit the place and I am sure you will find it as peaceful as any other part of the country,” he told the audience.
He reminded the audience that the film industry had a very cherished and affectionate relationship with Kashmir in eighties and early nineties, adding that due to various reasons that connection was lost from past few years. “It is the right time for reviving that age-old link between Bollywood and Kashmir,” he said.
He appealed the film fraternity to renew that old connection by starting to explore the Union Territory with new dynamism by shooting for their films at virgin locations in and around Jammu and Kashmir. He also urged the event organisers that the next edition of Mohammed Rafi Awards should be hosted in J&K in order to promote the place as secure and safe for visitors.
“It takes time to change people’s perception. What our government intends to do is to change it,” he said and added that J&K is ideal for high end tourism with varied areas and products for which the relevant infrastructure is continuously being upgraded.
On the occasion, Advisor Khan also appealed media to play their role in presenting a true picture of Kashmir in order to promote it as safe tourist destination to the outside world.
He said that the Government is committed in its endeavours for promoting J&K as safest place for tourism and investment. He said in this regard a three-day global Investors summit is being held next year for the first time in the Union Territory.
He added that the hosting of the JK Investor Summit will provide JK with an opportunity to showcase its strengths, strategies and potential.
Meanwhile, Advisor Khan presented 11th Mohammad Rafi awards at the function.
12th Mohammed Rafi Jeevan Gaurav Award for 2019 was given posthumously to senior musician Chitragupta. The award was received by Chiragupta’s son Anand Milind. Senior singer Sudesh Bhosale was given Mohammed Rafi Award.