There cannot be two opinions that the unprecedented scale and pitch of the current uprising of the Kashmiri population has struck India with the unexpectedness of a bolt from the blue. The IHK ambience showed a promise for serenity, particularly after holding the 2008 elections. The militancy had vanished and the establishment in India surveyed the scene with a smug feeling of having tamed the Kashmiri resistance to a tepid end. The conventional wisdom was that having managed the 2008 mass uprising stirred by the illegal allocation of 100 acres of Kashmiri land to the Amarnath Yatra Trust for building staging facilities for the Hindu yatrees, followed by the holding of an electoral exercise, the going was likely to remain a smooth one for the foreseeable future. Predictably, enough the Indian tone and tenor in the Composite Dialogue Process had changed drastically. Instead of addressing the core issue of Kashmir in the parleys with Pakistan, Indian interlocutors now wanted to restructure the format of the dialogue; focusing entirely on the issue of 'terrorism. Once the protests commenced in June 2010, over the killing of a young Kashmiri boy during demonstrations protesting a fake encounter by the Indian army, no one could predict the viciousness of the impending scenario which was going to unfold in the days ahead. Never known to have admitted 'reality in occupied Kashmir, the Indian establishment tried to explain the gathering momentum of the protests as handiwork of agents provocateurs; directly and indirectly blaming their favourite whipping boys; Lashkar-i-Taiba and the ISI. Stories appeared in the media whereby outsiders (read Pakistan) were fomenting trouble by paying money (Rs 200 was the figure announced) and offering the lure of narcotics to the stone-pelting youth. An audio recording of a supposed conversation between instigators of the rebellion was also handed down to the Indian media in which two activists belonging to the Geelani faction of the Hurriyat Conference were tapped as hatching plans for organising demonstrations having accepted money. However, a closer scrutiny exposed that transcript of the tape was manipulated to deliberately mislead. Given its turbulent history, Kashmir has never witnessed such fierce political and widespread agitation. It is surprising though that despite the writing on the wall, the Indian leadership is seized with confusion over identifying the undercurrents that caused this unprecedented upheaval. Omar Abdullah, the puppet Chief Minister of the state, blames the unfettered powers, embodied in the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), conferring draconian powers upon the Indian security forces, at the root of the problem. After all, it was the killing of three Kashmiri youth, in a fake encounter in the Machhil sector of Kupwara district by an Indian army unit that broke the proverbial Kashmiri patience; sounding the clarion call for the stone-hurling youth all over IHK. In contrast, the Indians believe that Omar is unnecessarily passing the buck to hide his political naivet and lack of administrative capability which has emboldened and given operating space to separatists, who have tended to outsmart and outmanoeuvre him. At another dimension, the Indian army, despite earning a despicable human rights record believes that it has broken the back of insurgency and done all that was possible to create conditions for the political leadership to take charge. The job may have been done, as it claims, yet it is not prepared to let go of the privilege of untrammelled indemnity provided by AFSPA and has made it obvious to its political masters. The Indian army feels no responsibility for creating the ongoing fiasco through its no-holds-barred and blood dripping operations; taking shelter behind the subterfuge that with militancy having come to a standstill, the ball was in the politicians court. As far as the Indian Prime Minister is concerned, he appears to have been shackled by inertia and inaction; turning a deaf ear to the cries of Azadi in the valley. All he talks about ethereally is the solutions within the constraints of the Indian Constitution and inviolability of the existing borders, as if the LoC (erstwhile Ceasefire Line) has already turned into the Indo-Pak border. Manmohan Singh, following the lead set by Nehru and blindly followed by his successors, seems to have fallen under the spell of amnesia, as regards the history of the Kashmir Issue; omitting all references to the commitment of plebiscite that India gave to the Kashmiris and the world at large from the podium of the UN. He also speaks, as if the total alienation of the Kashmiris from India and their slogans for exercising their right of self-determination are no factors to consider within the matrix of the ultimate solution for Kashmir. It is manifest that the assiduously built scenario by India in which the Kashmir issue was defined as cross-border terrorism sustained by Pakistan and played out by Lashkar-i-Taiba duly assisted by the ISI, has been blown to smithereens. The void has stunned the Indian political establishment (and media?) into a state of utter confusion. Obviously, given the lack of objectivity and clarity obtaining in various centres of power in India, explaining various dimensions of the Kashmir conundrum remains a complex and politically loaded affair. In this regard, the findings of a poll conducted by the prestigious Indian weekly, the Outlook, is instructive. According to the polls, an overwhelming majority of 75 percent Kashmiris see no Pak hand behind the ongoing stone-pelting resistance movement. As regards blame for the current mess; Kashmir policy of the Indian government (45.4 percent), followed by spineless and unrepresentative performance of the state government (32.1), and grave human rights violations by the security forces (11.7 percent) were tipped to be the perpetrators by those polled. To the question, what was the provocation for the current situation the highest number (30.8 percent) voted for the cry for Azadi, followed by human rights violations by the security forces (23.3 percent), general frustration (18.8 percent), and neglect by the state government (18.3 percent). In Kashmir, the baton of the movement for deciding the fate of Kashmir has been passed on to the young generation which has come of age during the tumultuous period of militancy (1990 - 2004). The movement is of the grassroots, non-violent, yet charged with a passion that seems boundless. The crescendo of anger has even forced hardliners like Ali Geelani to appeal for restraint lest the protests should turn violent. For India, it is a moment of truth and unless it conducts serious and time-bound negotiations to accommodate Kashmiri aspirations for self-determination and Pakistans stand point, it would know no peace in Kashmir. The writer is a freelance columnist.