For one, the pilgrimage has become a billionaire enterprise that ravages the ecology -- feeding off a phenomenal surge of middle-class piety. Equally crucially, it also kills the real tradition of ritual openness and social flexibility.
The Congress, with its shrinking but small and loyal voter base, could play a significant role to soar up the collective fortunes of the anti-BJP camp as well as win a dignified number of seats for itself.
Resumption of the on-off dialogue process started in 1997 can be ruled out. This has become hostage to India insisting on stopping terrorism and Pakistan on starting talks on Kashmir first. The first window on dialogue will open after the 2019 elections.