In this article, we reflect on the gendered contours of young Kashmiris’
dissident practices against the Indian military occupation of the Kashmir Valley.
It is largely based on ethnographic research that coincided with the launch of an
ongoing, predominantly nonviolent people’s movement in which youth have
played a prominent role. The article shows how university students’ and young
professionals’ “small activism” is entangled in the gendered dynamics of militarization
and dissent, while underlining the threat posed by “security forces” to
women’s “honor” and “dignity.” In the context of widespread societal anxiety about
“dishonor,” young Kashmiris’ urge to reclaim dignity at once motivates them to
practice dissent and narrows the scope for female dissidents’ capacity to act upon
this drive overtly. The present case suggests that recent anthropological interest in
global youth cultural practices may be supplemented with a recognition of local
constraints on young people’s public opposition that arise in circumstances of
(gendered) state oppression.