KASHMIR'S SLOW-BURN INTIFADA, which reasserted itself in the summer of 2008, is memorable in part because its style of mass resistance prefigured the development of the "days of rage" in the Middle East, a pre-play of the civil disobedience that toppled dictators.
So a year before footage of Neda Agha-Soltan, shot and bloodied, became the face of Iran's protests, Kashmir boiled over after the death of Shaheed Tanveer, a cellphone salesman whose death throes were captured on mobiles and broadcast over the Internet. While social media in 2011 is said to have launched a thousand demonstrations across the Arab world, Kashmiris had begun posting YouTube videos and creating Facebook pages to document state violence and inspire resistance years earlier.
Although information technology lent an emotional intensity to the protests that had been missing in recent years, what was familiar were the killings. Beneath snowy peaks that sawtooth the cobalt blue skies of Kashmir, English-speaking youth took to the streets with little more than stones in their hands and slogans on their lips. Last summer, 120 died in largely peaceful protests.
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