As armed violence waned in recent years, music shows and theater performances re-emerged, but some of the boundaries set during the conflict remained.
In 1996, a group of four girls broke a centuries-old convention when they started learning Sufiyana music, a classical Persian genre of music which Kashmir adopted after Persian Sufi saints started visiting the region.
A music school named after legendary Sufiyana maestro Ustad Ghulam Mohammed Qaleenbaf began training the girls at a time when guns roared in every corner of the region.
"Despite the unprecedented unrest, I received support from everyone who came to know of my initiative," said Sheikh Mohammed Yaqoob, Qaleenbaf's grandson.
Bhat, the sociologist, said nobody objected to the initiative "perhaps because they stayed within a tradition that does not contest the present-day political realities here."
"The tension between modern and traditional is in every society. But what exemplifies this in a conflict situation like Kashmir is its motivated politicization," he said.
Mattoo, the manager, did not hide his anger.
"I know it from my last eight years' experience that we could have easily dealt with the online abuse," Mattoo said. "We were failed by the government-run mufti, who asked us to forget our music and declared our band against the religion," he said.
- 50 things you might not know about 15 of your...
- Switched at birth, man raised in poverty...
- Former South African President Nelson Mandela...
- 1 child dead in Idaho elementary school bus...
- Court: Mormon church, members not liable in...
- Saving Africa? New book casts harsh light on...
- Obama: Income inequality a defining challenge
- Colorado court hears discrimination case over...
- Obama: Income inequality a defining... 97
- Croatians vote against same-sex marriage 50
- Court: Mormon church, members not... 34
- Notre Dame sues over health care law's... 30
- Colorado court hears discrimination... 28
- Fast food outlets planning strike for... 25
- Fast-food strikes return amid push for... 23
- Research: Native American genes have... 23