Perhaps it was a bigger moment than G 20 meet on tourism in Srinagar in May this year, on Wednesday – August 23 , 2023, hundreds of tourists and Kashmiris watched in awe the soft landing of Chandarayan-3 in the southern polar region of moon and erupted in joyous celebrations at historic Lal Chowk in Srinagar . This was a moment of which the spirit for Kashmir connected it to the country in the unprecedented achievement in space – India became the first country ever to ever reach southern polar region of lunar space.
The G 20 meet on tourism- May 22-24 was a carefully organized event, in which the guests were escorted to their hotels, venue of the meet and for sight-seeing and shopping. That was a Government-sponsored event, which sought to invoke the spirit of Kashmir and the normalcy gained moment to underline the gains made following abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019.
The Wednesday evening moment was free of the security cover at Lal Chowk . The live streaming of the landing of Chandarayan -3 was n an exalted moment for Kashmir, viewed it through its own perspective. Theis was moment that beckoned them to converge their aspirations with the scientific achievement of the country. In realistic terms, this was an awe-inspiring moment. As it was also realization and recognition of the fact that the country of which they were part had become first in many respects and held the promise of fulfilling their dreams
And they also watched tourists dancing and erupting in celebrations at Lal Chowk the moment the Chandarayan -3 made a soft landing at lunar surface. They shared the moment with vicarious pride. They cheered the moment, as triumph of science at moon, and this just happened to be Indian excellence , which the world will envy for ages.
This was a significant change in the situation and mood of the people in Kashmir , as they realized that the peaceful atmosphere had made it possible to watch such historic moments in the heart of city . They, and their children, were part of the generations, which watched it happening . This , for certain , is going to become part of their school curriculum and at a larger scale , part of the home schooling , for this is something that no one can afford to ignore. The moon always held a special place in the oriental thinking . It is ingrained in the psyche and folk lore . Kashmiris know that this achievement of India is a defining moment for the country.
Both at macro and micro level, the soft-landing of Chandarayan -3 on the moon has ignited dreams. It has given wings to the dreams of the aspiring sections of Kashmiri society , and they have come to recognize the fact that the moon is accessible from within India . For them, this has placed India in the orbit of the dream-fulfilling world , where every dream can be fulfilled. This has made a huge difference , and they have aligned with the country more than it could be anticipated . It is yet another giant step in mainstreaming them.
Here an unavoidable reference has crossed their mind that Pakistan that prided itself as Islamic republic and sought to lure them towards its radical ideology, and dragged them into terrorism , is gasping itself . Pakistan , which had tried to project itself as genuine and ideal nation to the Kashmiri Muslims, is now in a disarray, where seeking aid and loans from the foreign countries is considered as achievement. The Pakistani population is struggling to make two ends meet. This situation of Pakistan has not escaped Kashmir’s world view. Now, they seemed to be realizing that being at the core of the Indian nationhood makes them partners in the scientific excellence. Moon is accessible, so are other dreams.