Kashmir has been a region disputed by India and Pakistan for over 70 years; India administers bout two-thirds of the state and Pakistan much of the remainder (with a small portion occupied by China). On Aug. 5, the Indian government announced that it was ending the ‘special status’ that Kashmir, the country’s only Muslim-majority state, enjoyed and would be bifurcating it and administering it from New Delhi. These measures have been very popular in much of the rest of India but have evoked strong protests in Kashmir, which is under a communications blackout and curfew. This is likely to lead to sustained and prolonged unrest.
“As Kashmiris have lived under the gun for so long, their resistance will be fierce and once more the ordinary people will suffer from New Delhi’s arrogance,” said Ravi Arvind Palat, professor of sociology at Binghamton University, State University of New York, whose areas of research include political economy and historical sociology.