New Delhi: An article in the United States' Foreign Affairs Journal has brazenly stated that the sacred Hindu shrine, Amarnath temple in Jammu and Kashmir, is a large, 'phallic block of ice' inside the cave and is being used as pilgrimage to assert Indian government's political control over the region.
The article named 'A Political Pilgrimage in Kashmir' further says that in recent years the shrine has become a political flashpoint between Hindus and Muslims.
Quoting excerpt from Professor Ian Reader's book 'Pilgrimage in the Marketplace', the article also suggests that pilgrimage in the shrine has increased because India wants to reinforce its claims to the region and demonstrate its opposition to Pakistan’s counter claims.
At the end, the article claims that such efforts have increased the number of pilgrims that make the trek—from 12,000 in 1989 to 634,000 in 2011 (the highest number of visits to date).
After the article stoked controversy, the writer of the article Fahad Shah (a Kasmiri journalist) in his defence took to Twitter and wrote, “All this Twitter hate coming in for a story that explains how Amarnath pilgrimage becomes political and ecological issue - you don't get it (sic).”
All this Twitter hate coming in for a story that explains how Amarnath pilgrimage becomes political and ecological issue - you don't get it.
— Fahad Shah (@pzfahad) September 16, 2015