Jammu and Kashmir have been a source of serious friction between India and Pakistan since independence, because of the predominantly Muslim population, and a cause of war between the two countries in 1947, 1965 and 1971 and have also been the site of long-running armed resistance to Indian rule. In 2008, however, there was a new movement stressing unarmed methods of conflict.
Since the alleged rigging of the 1987 elections, Indian-ruled Jammu and Kashmir has been in a state of simmering conflict, with the Indian security forces enjoying special powers since 1990. The massive protests of August 2008 began in reaction to the transfer of land to the organisers of a Hindu pilgrimage, but quickly widened to embrace the demand for ‘Azadi’ (freedom). On occasions Indian security forces opened fire killing unarmed protesters.
Since 2008 there have been continuing protests. These have not been well publicised either in India or the west, hence the limited literature cited below. The Pakistani press is more inclined to provide coverage – see for example Momin Ifthikar, ‘Kashmir’s New Generation of Resistance’, The Nation, 8 Feb, 2012, which underlines the rejection of armed resistance, but celebrates the role of stone throwing, and makes a comparison with the Arab Spring.