Kashmir: Will 2011 Be It ???

Photo © Altaf Qadri/ AP Courtesy SacBee's The Frame-All Rights Reserved

 I read with interest that the Indian government announced it would start releasing jailed protesters, ease security in Kashmiri towns and cities, reopen schools and universities, and offering financial compensation to the families of those killed since the protests in June.

I've been keen to go to Kashmir for a number of years, but was stymied by political unrest in the region, by conflicting time constraints and other destinations. I certainly kick myself for not taking the opportunity of being in Manali with the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop in 2009, and travel to Srinagar as some in the workshop did.

So the possibility of a solo-trip (or even a group photo-expedition) to Kashmir is once again rearing its head because of this announcement...only time will tell if the Indian government is serious with this new policy, or whether it's just a public relations stunt before the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

I'm eager to photograph in Kashmir...and its rich and unique Islamic traditions. In all my years of traveling in India, I have not made it yet. Something tells me that 2011 will be it... Inch' Allah.