I'm finally doing a thread on the dispute concerning Jammu and Kashmir. So, here it is.
Firstly, a little background. Buddhism and then animism flourished in the region.
Later, a revered Sufi saint named Bulbul Shah (rh) popularised Islam in the region.
The Tibetan-Buddhist king of the region, Rinchana embraced Islam and so did his aides. The ruling class becoming Muslim affected the masses and many in the region followed suit.
The region gradually became Muslim-majority. The rule of the last native king of Kashmir ended in the mid-16th century. Kashmiri nationalists see this as defeat of the indigenous people because from there on in, foreign rulers reigned in the region.
The most important development concerning the region came in 1846 when the colonial British conquered the region. However, the British did not want to govern Kashmir directly since it was an agriculturally rich region like Punjab, which would pay a huge amount in taxes.
So, the colonial power was more than happy to govern Jammu and Kashmir indirectly by essentially selling the region to a Dogra dynasty and establishing a princely state.
Here's a timeline of events of the region:
1846: After being ruled by the Mughals, the Sikhs and eventually the British, Kashmir finally comes under the Dogra dynasty.
The ruler, Gulab Singh had bought the Kashmir valley from the East India Company and formed the new state of Jammu and Kashmir under the Treaty of Amritsar. With Dogra rule, a new phase of oppression begins for the Kashmiris.
Gulab Singh paid a heavy price to buy Kashmir and tried to recover it by taxing Kashmiris heavily. He was of course, resented for it. Gulab Singh was succeeded by his son, Ranbir Singh in 1856. During his reign, Kashmir witnessed a debilitating drought under him.
1931: The patience of Kashmiris was pushed to a breaking point.
Widepread protests against Maharaja Hari Singh erupt all over Kashmir. The revolt is brutally suppressed by Hari Singh's constabulary. The uprising was attributed to the fact that the predominantly Muslim population was kept poor, illiterate and was not allowed representation in the state's administrative apparatus.
1932: Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah launches the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference (MC) with a manifesto to fight for the liberation of the Kashmiri people.
Hari Singh's subsequent efforts to redress the grievances of the masses, first by appointing the Glancy Commission and then by constituting a legislative assembly turn out to be hollow.
1939: Muslim Conference splits. Sheikh Abdullah launches Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (NC).
1944: NC adopts the Naya Kashmir (new Kashmir) resolution, which calls for the radical socio-economic transformation and full citizenship rights for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
1946: The 'Quit Kashmir' movement is launched by the NC against the monarchy. Sheikh Abdullah is taken into custody.
1947: Following independence, and the partition of British India into India and Pakistan, a grave dispute arose over the question of which nation Kashmir should accede to. Based on geographical and religous reasons, Kashmir was expected to go to Pakistan.
August: There is heightened unrest in the wake of the revolt in Poonch against Hari Singh's taxation policy - leading to an exodus of over 60,000 Muslim refugees.
September: There follows a chilling massacre of Muslims in Jammu. Long hidden, this carnage saw anywhere between 50,000 to 200,000 people slaughtered.
October: Tribal fighters from Mirpur invade Kashmir, said to be incensed by the atrocities against fellow Muslims in Poonch and Jammu. The tribesmen engage in looting and killing along the way. Fearful for his safety, Hari Singh asks India for help.
October 26: Having fled to Jammu, Hari Singh signs the Instrument of Accession integrating the state of Jammu and Kashmir into the Indian union in return for support against the invaders. The clauses in the Instrument of Accession give India control over defence, communication, foreign affairs and ancillary items. Sheikh Abdullah, after his release from prison in September, is a willing partner in the deal.
October 27: The Indian army enters Kashmir. Pakistan subsequently disputes the accession as illegal and the first war over Kashmir breaks out.
1948: India takes the case of Kashmir to the United Nations Organisation (UNO). The world over, Kashmir is officially recognised as a disputed territory. The United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) passes a resolution providing for i) Ceasefire. ii) Withdrawal of Pakistani troops and tribals, followed by Indian troops and iii) Plebsicite.
1949: Ceasfire is proclaimed under UN auspices.
1950: The constitution of India comes into effect. Article I proclaims the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir as a part of the territory of India (excluding Pakistan Administered Kashmir comprising of Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir) and article 370 gives a special status to the state, corresponding to the terms of the Instrument of Accession.
1951: The first post-independence elections are held in the state. Sheikh Abdullah wins mostly unopposed. Charges of rigging would be made about these polls and the ones that follow.
The UN passes a resolution saying these polls don't count as a plebsicite as that would offer the option of choosing between India and Pakistan.
1952-54: Sheikh Abdullah repeatedly shifts positions between self determination and Indian unionism. He signs the Delhi agreement in 1952 but delays the formal accession of Kashmir to India. He is dismissed and arrested. Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad is installed in power - he gets the accession formally ratified in 1954. Plebiscite Front is formed.
1956-57: The J&K Constituent Assembly adopts a fresh constitution for Kashmir, declaring it an integral part of India. The UN passes another resolution stating that it would not constitute a final disposition of the state.
India resists plebsicite efforts but Kashmiri activists are unphased and continue demanding self determination.
1963-64: Protests occur against the implementation of articles 356 and 357 of the Indian Constitution by virtue of which the Centre can exercise it's authority over legislative powers in Kashmir.
The special status accorded to the state under article 370 continues to get eroded.
1965: Indo-Pakistan war breaks out after Pakistan sends infiltrators across the ceasefire line in August. The war ends in ceasefire on September 23.
1966: India and Pakistan sign the Tashkent Declaration, a peace pact that does not take measures to reduce guerilla warfare.
1971: Maqbool Bhat and others form Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), which calls for total independence for Kashmir from both India and Pakistan.
The Indo-Pakistan war of 71 breaks resulting in secession of East Pakistan and formation of Bangladesh.
1972: India and Pakistan recognise the ceasefire line as Line of Control (LOC).
In July, both countries sign the Shimla Agreement, which has a clause agreeing to the final settlement of the region being a bilateral agreement between India and Pakistan and that they shall both respect the LOC.
1977-83: NC wins back to back elections in 77 and 83. International watchdogs accuse India of rigging polls. Sheikh Abdullah dies.
In 1979, Soviet Union invades Afghanistan. US and Pakistan train and arm Mujahideen to fight against the Soviets.
1984: The Indian army takes the Siachen Glacier region of Kashmir. Maqbool Bhat hanged in Tihar Jail.
1987-89: Farooq Abdullah wins elections and forms coalition government with Indian National Congress (INC).
The Muslim United Front (MUF) says elections have been rigged. Insurgency in the valley gains momentum. The end of Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in 1988 releases vast number of militants and arms into Kashmir. Pakistan trains and arms militants in Kashmir.
Massive protests break out in Kashmir in 1989. JKLF declares armed struggle against India.
1990: Farooq Abdullah resigns as CM. Jagmohan - a bureaucrat with pronounced right wing Hindu leanings - is appointed the governor of Jammu and Kashmir. All powers are vested in central rule.
An estimated 100 people are killed in the Gawkadal Bridge massacre. Other massacres take place.
The armed movement gains popularity, amid killings of Kashmiri Pandits associated with the administration and other civilians as well.
Jagmohan's administration actively discourages reconciliation between Hindus and Muslims. By March, some 1,62,500 Hindus flee the valley, including almost the entire Kashmiri Pandit community.
March: An estimated million people take to the streets. Over 40 killed in police firing.
May: Over two million people attend the funeral march of the slain spiritual leader Mirwaiz Maulvi Muhammad Farooq; over 100 mourners are shot dead. The armed movement grows.
Girish Saxena, a former Intelligence Bureau officer replaces Jagmohan as governor.
Over half a million Indian troops are deployed in the valley and in the stand off, both sides commit human rights violation. Tens of thousands of civilians are killed.
1993: All parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) is formed to promote Kashmiri nationalism.
Major incidents of state-sponsored violence take place in Kashmir. An entire neighbourhood in the northern town of Sopore is burned down by paramilitary troopers, while over a 100 are massacred. In the southern town of Bijbehara, Border Security Forces fire upon a Friday procession in which 55 people are killed.
1994-95: India creates Ikhwan, counter insurgents formed by militants turned India loyalists, who crush the militant groups.
Agha Shahid Ali pens The Country Without A Post Office.
1999: Kargil War breaks out as Kashmiri militants and Pakistani soldiers infiltrate across LOC. It quickly turns into a propaganda war. It is accompanied by audio-visual media coverage. Pakistan withdraws by July.
2000: A day before US President Bill Clinton's visit to India, 35 Sikhs are killed in the village of Chittisingpora.
The government blames militants but Kashmiris suspect government agencies. Sikh leaders endorse the view.
Security Forces claim to have killed the five people responsible for the massacre. Kashmiris claim that it was a fake encounter that killed civilians. No inquiry is conducted on the matter.
2001: July: Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Pakistan premier Parvez Musharraf fail to reach an agreement on the Kashmir issue despite five long arduous one-on-meetings.
September: Attacks on the world trade center in the US take place and are dubbed 9/11. Vajpayee asks US President George Bush to extend his war on terror to Kashmir. India uses growing anti-Muslim sentiment to smear the Kashmiri movement of self determination.
2002: Separatist leader Abdul Ghani Lone is assasinated by unidentified gunmen. Government agencies are suspected. No inquiry is carried out.
2008: May: A controversial land deal granting 100 acres of land in the valley to a Hindu Shrine Board causes a furore.
June: Muslims protesters in Kashmir take to the street. Security forces kill over a 100 people, including separatist leader Sheikh Aziz.
For the first time, liberal Indian commentators articulate anguish over the state's excesses in Kashmir.
2009: May-June: Shopian double rape and murder takes place. Security forces are blamed by independent investigations.
Government calls it a case of drowning and suspends doctors who confirmed that the bodies showed signs of sexual assault.
2010: June: Widespread protests break out in Jammu and Kashmir over the Macchil fake encounter. Anger carries over from the 2008 protests. Killing of 17-year-old Tufail Ahmed Matoo by the impact of a smoke cannister provides fuels the rage of protesters.
Security Forces kill as many as 120 protesters. Centre tries to placate the anger of Kashmiris by autonomy proposals, employment generation etc but are met with rejection.
The government appoints three interlocutors to mediate the Kashmir dispute.
2016: The killing of popular miltant leader, Burhan Wani, elicits widepread protests.
Security forces kills over 90 people and injuries over 17,000. The incident is dubbed the world's first mass blinding as use of "non lethal" pellet guns becomes the norm under prime minister Narendra Modi and national security advisor Ajit Doval.
2019: August: Narendra Modi, emboldened by his re-election scraps article 370 (which gave a much whittled autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir) and article 35 a (which forbade permanent settling of outsiders in Jammu and Kashmir).
It is seen as a move to settle Hindus in Kashmir to alter the UN-recognised disputed region's demographics.
Modi also suspends internet in the valley. Security forces crush protests and excesses remain largely hidden due to the internet ban and restrictions on reporting.
A solution to the Kashmir issue remains elusive.
I've borrowed much of the information in this thread from Kashmiri documentary filmmaker Sanjay Kak's anthology, Until My Freedom Has Come.
It contains beautifully articulated writings by Kashmiris themselves. I highly recommend it.