Public opinion in Kashmir has now been pushed away from India

Not Narendra Modi, Amit Shah is the new face of Indian state for hurt and angry Kashmiris.

ou know what’s afsos mithai?” I did not. But soon it transpired that I did. As a child I called it boodhi amma ke baal. Much later, I would learn the English name for it: candy floss. “For us Kashmiris, Article 370 was like afsos mithai. Lovely appearance, but you regret (afsos) as soon as you find out how little it contains.” I was speaking to Karim (all names changed), this young man in mid-30s with piercing eyes that bore a hole in my skin.

I was in Kashmir for three days, mainly to listen to apple-growers and to assess the damage to their crops. But Kashmiris won’t limit themselves to discussing apples. Not after 5 August this year. Kashmiris have always been very knowledgeable about politics, full of opinions and rich in metaphors. This time, they were more than eager to share their experience of the last 100 days with anyone they could trust. I was all ears.

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