Shimla, the summer capital of British India, requires around 42 million litres per day but often suffers from water shortage in the summer. But supply has dipped by nearly half this year, sparking what residents say is the worst shortage in living memory.
The mountainous northern state of Himachal Pradesh endured record-low snowfall during the winter which is responsible for taps running dry earlier than usual. Protests outside the chief minister’s home late Tuesday turned violent, with demonstrators clashing with police and chanting slogans against the local government.
A social media campaign urging tourists to avoid Shimla until the crisis passes has gone viral online.
“Don’t visit Shimla this year, let the place breathe for a while, it’s overcrowded and exploited to the limits,” reads the campaign slogan circulating on social media platforms like WhatsApp.
Between such environmental chaos in Himachal, the politicians are bent towards the Hindu-Muslim political games.
On Tuesday, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad reportedly announced that Himachal Pradesh should be declared a Hindu state. At a VHP conference in Solan, the Hindutva organization adopted a resolution that included urging the state’s BJP-led government to officially make such a declaration, because 95% of Himachal’s population is Hindu.
Last month, the VHP stoked a controversy in Himachal Pradesh when its women’s wing, Durga Vahini, made claims about multiple cases of ‘love jihad’. Even though Muslims form less than 2% of the state’s population, the VHP claimed Muslim men were tricking Hindu women into marriage with the intention of converting them to Islam.
At that time, the state’s BJP leaders had completely denied coming across such cases of fraudulent marriages or forced conversions.
A religion is something with one book and one style of praying, but Hinduism is a way of life, with different gods and multiple ways of praying.here is no question of declaring Himachal a Hindu state, because India has lakhs of Muslims who see themselves as Indian, which is no different from saying they see themselves as Hindutva.” said Shanta Kumar, a parliamentarian from Kangra and former Himachal chief minister.