SRINAGAR: To a common man, all that attracts and binds to a place is the opportunity it provides. And when you have a country as big as India, that would mean any part of the country is home, irrespective of regional divide.
Unfazed by the recent attacks on civilians in Jammu and Kashmir, the settlers from Bihar continue to hold fort and carry on with their lives in the valley.
“I have been living for 33 years and the recent attacks have not changed my decision to leave the Valley. People are nice here and many from Bihar are living and working here peacefully. We haven’t received any threats,” said Vikas, a snack vendor hailing from Bihar and working in Kashmir for over three decades.
The gunning of innocent civilians, especially from other states, making a living in the region was meant to instil fear among them so they leave the Valley. The settlers, however, feel otherwise. They insist Jammu and Kashmir is safe and there is no reason for them to think otherwise.
“Kashmir is a safe place to live. People are warm and friendly. So, there really is no reason for us to return to our native places,” insisted Pankaj while speaking to The New Indian.
For many labourers from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, there is work opportunity aplenty considering the region has active tourism. The season this year has been particularly good, considering Covid-weary Indian travellers made a bee line for Kashmir for its beauty and change of weather. This in economic terms translates into local economic growth, promotes small vendors and eateries, many of which employ people from Bihar among other states.
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