[EDIT : Waiting esp. for response to Point 4. Please contact. Thanks.]
So... The 'situation' in J&K has gone from bad to obscenely terrible in a period of two months. Death toll of unarmed protesters nearing 60 (or has it crossed already?), most victims of bullet shots from the CRPF and other 'security forces'- above the waist, below the damn waist, who cares. Not a single tangible action from the State/Indian Govt to admit the wrongness of what has occurred. No restraint orders, no pulling up of guilty personnel, no apology to the people even? Oh, hang on, sorry. We have to wait about 20 years for an apology or anything like it.
Anyway, am planning a big post on my take on Kashmir.
Off the top of my head, I'll get into the following: [EDIT: Below points are a way ahead. How the problem ought to be solved. The detailed post will make clearer where I'm coming from.]
1. Kashmir is a political problem, NOT a religious one.
2. Unfortunately, a lot of people (who make the most noise as well) WILL make it a religious issue.
3. Is this communalising of Kashmir its biggest tragedy? Yes. Thank you, Britain, for the Partition and the never-ending mess you unleashed. (Let's blame them!)
4. I am really, really interested in talking with with serious, level-headed, non-combative Kashmiri Pandits - about everything. Get in touch with me, please?
5. Kashmir cannot be compared to Indian states, because it is a completely unique issue.
6. Non-Kashmiris who have not lived here REALLY have no idea, as well-intentioned as you may be.
7. Elections: 60% voter turnout in recent elections does NOT indicate acceptance of Indian statehood. Ugh. Ask me, I voted. And now my neighbourhood has good roads, yay. How about this: people need a local administration to run things well for a change - that's schools, colleges, hospitals, roads, electricity, water and what have you.
8. Plebiscite? Where is it? Oh, yes.
9. YOUTH: Get together. Sanely. Please. So far, everyone's made a mess of things. Let's get organised and talk.
Incidentally, here's one book I read years ago: Tavleen Singh's 'Kashmir: A Tragedy of Errors'. Can't comment on it intelligently, I was too young to critique. All I remember is it was interesting.
Here's Vinayak Razdan's take on the book. (His blog is much too interesting, I say. Recommended.)
Oh, one more thing about the Kashmir problem: Books won't help much.