Valley in freeze; weddings called off

Protests over the move to scrap Article 35A have cast a cloud over the exuberant marriage season
Fearing widespread violence, families in the Kashmir Valley have been cancelling weddings scheduled for Monday ahead of the Supreme Court hearing on Article 35A .
Local newspapers and cable channels have been full of cancellation notices.
“We would like to inform our esteemed guests that due to the prevailing situation coupled with uncertainty, we have decided to cancel our daughter’s wedding on August 6. However, nikah will take place. God willing,” reads the notice published in the daily Greater Kashmir by Syed Liyaqat Gilani, a resident of Bagh-e-Mehta.
Late summer is the peak wedding season in the Valley ahead of the harsh winter. Valley weddings are elaborate affairs with extravagant feasts; exotic dishes are prepared for days together at the homes of the bride and groom. “We do not intend that any guest should be harmed. I had done elaborate shopping in New Delhi to wear special clothes on my wedding. However, we have to keep it simple now,” said Sajid Ahmad, a prospective groom from Srinagar’s old city, who was scheduled to marry on Monday.
The change in plans has also meant a series of cancellations of orders with butchers, caterers, and makers of sweets. “At least 80% of my orders for Sunday and Monday stand cancelled. If it worsens with scrapping of Article 35A, I doubt if any marriage will be elaborate in the coming months,” said Majid Daryal, a meat seller in Lal Bazar.
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