New Delhi seems not just resigned to another confrontation but is working actively to ensure it. The prevailing sentiment among home ministry hawks and the Rasputin in the PMO is that 'the Kashmiris' need to be shown their place once and for all. They must be left in no doubt that they can't dictate events. So the polls shall take place on schedule no matter what they cost in human lives or what they do to the credibility of the Indian State.
Kashmiris know this is a recipe for disaster. The August demonstrations were angry but exuberant. Empowered by the new-found unity of the two Hurriyats and the government's restraint, sentiment was swinging toward moderation. But August 23 turned Kashmir into a pressure cooker and the mood turned ugly. The attempts to break curfew will therefore be more determined now.