Srinagar: Raouf Ahmad, a resident of Gojwara in Srinagar has cut the guest list from 400 to just 100 for the marriage ceremony of his government employee son Zuhaib Ahmad. The wedding cards were printed but not distributed. Only close relatives and neighbours attended.

“We were planning to cook four quintals of mutton for making wazwan during the wedding, but curtailed most functions and cooked just one quintal of mutton instead”, said Raouf Ahmad.

The lockdown of Kashmir coupled with restrictions on movement and a communication gag following the abrogation of article 370 has forced most people to either totally cancel the wedding celebrations or go for a low key event. Days, after Article 370 was scrapped newspapers in Kashmir, were flooded with wedding cancellation notices.

Many people’s business directly linked with wedding ceremonies has taken a big hit. Cooks or wazas who cook the multi-course wazwan, meat sellers, decorators, singers and disposable material traders- All of them are suffering big losses.

Zubair Ahmad, Kashmiri singer sings Kashmiri songs during weddings had a packed schedule. He heads a music band called ‘Expressions’ comprising a team of eight singers and musicians. He says he lost 15 lakh rupees this season due to cancellations of weddings. He had a booking for 57 wedding functions. Some cancelled weddings and others went for low key celebrations avoiding singing and music.

“I was preparing for this wedding season in Kashmir for months altogether. I had bought a new sound system for five lakh rupees from Delhi and was really looking forward to doing good business this wedding season. It is such a big loss for me, said Zubair Ahmad”.

So a month after the abrogation of Article 370 the entire emphasis of the administration still remains to maintain law or order, Kashmir’s economy has been hit hard. Clearly the more the crisis prolongs in Kashmir, the more the situation could aggravate.

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