The first inkling we have that all is not normal is when the air hostess instructs us to down the window shutters as we land. The cabin becomes a closed, dark capsule as it hurtles towards the aerobridge.
Jammu airport is bright and modern. The streets outside bustle with speeding vehicles and crowded markets. Only later does it emerge that the town itself is a closed capsule—no internet, no email, no WhatsApp, no social media. ATMs are whimsical and credit cards not welcome. Frequently, there is no mobile or power.
The bustle has an underlying caution and uncertainty, as if the town is awaiting the full impact of the political drama initiated in Delhi two months earlier.
My host, the Central University of Jammu, is work in progress. One of India’s newest universities, the powers-that-be first constructed residences for faculty and guest houses rather than...