This has been a summer of discontent for the Kashmir valley. The death of the 17-year-old Tufail Mattoo, fatally hit by a teargas shell, and the drowning of two young women in Shopian became rallying grounds against an insensitive state apparatus. The home minister has acknowledged that the nature and intensity of the current agitation are different from the past. This is the first acknowledgement of the ground realities by the government of India.
Over the past 60 years, India has adopted an ostrich-like approach denying acceptance of the truth that, emotionally, Kashmir was rarely with it. Commencing with Sheikh Abdullah's arrest in 1953, the systematic "management" of successive elections, the heavy presence of the Indian army, the absence of real development and the lacklustre performance of Kashmiri politicians present an amalgam that lies at the heart of the disturbances today.