ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Second Uprising

Signs of simmering discontent have been visible in Kashmir since early 2007 after a series of civilian killings in fake encounters by security forces and in the Amarnath land row agitation of 2008. Contrary to what New Delhi may have been led to believe, separatist politics has acquired a more intense and aggressive form in the Valley by the participation of youth. Exploring the manner in which assertions of separatist politics have changed since 1989-90, this article argues that separatism is now driven by street responses of the youth and is witnessing a shrinking space for moderation.

“Second uprising” is the term I use to describe the recent phase of unrest in Kashmir which has witnessed more than 60 people being killed in police action in the last three months. The word “second” has reference to the “first uprising” in Kashmir during 1989-90, which coincided with the onset of armed militancy. This was a period of massive popular upsurge leading not only to the breakdown of law and order, but also to the collapse of political autho rity of the state. The azadi sentiment had swayed almost every section of the Kashmiri society at that time.

Early 2007: Emerging Discontent

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