8 Of peoples and places: tourism and zones of conflict in India E QUA TIONS
Introduction India hosted the 19th Commonwealth Games (CWG) in October 2010 with one of the objectives being to boost tourism in the country. To provide information on the places tourists could visit, the official website of the CWG had a very curious map of tourism destinations (see Figure 8.1) with largely two clusters in Northern India and Southern India. What is significant to note is what is absent, as most of the strife-torn parts of India (Jammu and Kashmir, Central and Eastern India, Andhra Pradesh and the entire North Eastern region) were “blanked out” in what seems to be an internal travel advisory or security warning for tourists by the CWG Organising Committee (EQUATIONS 2010a, p. 39). And yet it is at these very sites that tourism is pushed as a harbinger of development by the central and state tourism departments. This chapter addresses three primary questions: Can tourism exist and grow in a conflict zone? Is tourism responsible for exacerbating conflicts that exist? What is the relationship between tourism and conflict in India?