Notwithstanding the pain it suffered in the past 10 months, Kashmir is not in rebellion against the idea of India. Kashmiris have developed considerable stakes in India, mingling and even inter-marrying beyond the Banihal Pass they were once averse to crossing. Kashmiri businesses flourish in Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, Kovalam and some other places. There is no love lost for Pakistan; at best, Kashmir would have been another Bangladesh in Pakistan. So Kashmir is not going anywhere; Kashmiris have nowhere to go. Kashmir
cements the idea of India.
But we have never tried to understand Kashmir and its psychological complexities, or address them in the long term. We deal with the problem on an ad hoc basis—currently in the most muscular manner—believing Pakistan to be solely responsible for all that is wrong there. So the Kashmiri feels like an alien in his own land and suffers from a siege mentality. His relationship with Delhi has always been frayed.
For 450-odd years since the Mughal times—except for brief periods before 1987,...