Moderates organised rallies and encouraged Kashmiris to vote for a political party that did not want to fight India and would instead accept some degree of Indian authority. He even took five bullets for the cause, narrowly surviving an assassination attempt last year by Kashmiri separatists who saw him as a traitor.
Now, a little more than a year after India revoked Kashmir’s statehood and upended years of policies that granted Kashmiris some autonomy, Mr. Shah is among a growing group of political moderates who feel betrayed, disillusioned and disenfranchised. For years, he and others sought a middle path that would bring stability to one of Asia’s most volatile regions. Today, Mr. Shah wonders whether his life’s work was a waste.