Javaid Ahmad Bhat, alumni, and current Asst. Lecturer at IHM – Srinagar. He is also the current training and placement coordinator at IHM Srinagar. In this exclusive interview with has talked about. Enjoy reading.

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How is your life in Kashmir?

Life in Kashmir is obviously very great. This place has a good climate throughout the year. This place has a lovely picturesque location in and around Srinagar. Apart from the political turmoil and what the media portrays, Kashmir is very good place to be.

How working at IHM Srinagar was different from working in the Hospitality Industry?

We say that what a hotel can do, an institute can’t and what an institute can do, a hotel cannot. Both of them have to have a symbiotic relationship. In the hospitality industry, you are always on your toes because there is a lot of expectation from you and the industry keeps on changing and growing. But working in academics makes you a little bit of complacent.

A Chef, Rajarajan, told in an interview that What is your view on this?

That is his personal opinion. I think we need good academician who can create good managers and leaders for the industry. In India, there is a severe shortage of good category of manpower in the hotel industry and the only way, through which this shortage can be overcome, is by having good academician in the educational sphere.

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The initial stipend in this industry is very low which forces a lot of young talent to quit this industry. How do you look at it?

I think human being are not happy with what they earn. It is just that the grass is greener on the other side. But I do agree that the initial stipend in the hotel industry is very low as compared to any other sectors, but at the same time, I also firmly believe that if a student keeps on working hard for a year or two in the industry, then he would be able to fetch a better salary and he would also reach a good position. Newcomers in this industry have to be hardworking and patient.

We see that the situation in Kashmir always remains volatile. Does this disturb the everyday working of college anyhow?

What the media portrays is not the reality of Kashmir. I agree that there used to be a time when these sort of problems used to happen but now Kashmir is a very friendly place. A lot of tourism takes place in Kashmir. As far as the students at the college are concerned, the college is very secure and no disturbance from outside affects the day to day working at the college. But at times there are restrictions on movement in some part of Kashmir, but it does not affect Srinagar.

Who do you think is responsible for the current situation in Kashmir?

I think everybody dealing with the problem is responsible for the current state of Kashmir. Indian media, government, both the central and the state, are responsible for the current situation in Kashmir. I think the governments do not take appropriate steps to stabilize Kashmir.

What according to you is the solution to the Kashmir conflict?

Communication with the people living in Kashmir would be the only solution. I think the parties involved in this conflict need to sit down and talk. The government should undertake the step to talk to people and bring back peace in Kashmir.

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Various section of Indian media proposes that a part of Kashmir wants to go with Pakistan. Is this true?

I know a various section of the media portray that people of Kashmir are divided into three groups. Firstly, those who want independent Kashmir. Second, those who want it to be with India and the third are those who want Kashmir to go to Pakistan.

But in reality, there is no section of the people in Kashmir, who want Kashmir to go with Pakistan. Personally, I don’t know anyone who wants Kashmir to go with Pakistan.

What is you stand on this problem?

I only want peace in Kashmir. I think if the governments take appropriate steps and talk to the people of Kashmir, then the peace will definitely come back to Kashmir. I don’t think this is a type of problem which can be solved overnight but I think a better communication with the people of Kashmir would gradually pave the way for a peaceful Kashmir.

Some students withdraw their name every year when they are allotted IHM Srinagar. Do you think that the volatile situation of Kashmir is responsible for this? 

I don’t think the reason behind it is the danger prevailing in Kashmir, in fact, there is no such danger exist. Let me tell you, this college has not been closed for a single day in the year 2016. The reason why we have low strength at IHM Kashmir is its connectivity problem from rest of the India.

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What is the status of placements at IHM Srinagar?

IHM Srinagar is doing very well in placements. Last year, we had all the big names of the industry in our college for recruitment. We had representatives from Taj, Hyatt, Leela and much more. We have tie-ups with some of the big names of the industry and we regularly send our students on industrial training to these hotels.

Is there anything about IHMs which you would suggest to change?

I think there should be more industrial interaction. The interaction which we are having currently at IHMs does not suffice. I think there should be more interaction of the students with the real Industry.

Interview: Shivanshi Marwah, IHM Pusa Alumni, Management Trainee at IHG