Two crowds, two faces, two voices

Shah Abbas

SRINAGAR

On the first day of December, 2013, two huge gatherings were held in Jammu and Kashmir. One addressed by Prime Ministerial Candidate of BJP, Narindra Modi, in Jammu, the winter capital of the state and another by Octogenarian, separatist leader, Syed Ali Geelani, in Kulgam, a small town in south Kashmir.

While Modi’s ‘Lalkaar’ was “from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, India is one”, Geelani roared “If India spreads gold on our roads and streets we will never give up our demand of complete  freedom (Azadi) from India.”

Modi and Geelani had large gatherings to listen. Both the venues, Moulana Azad Stadium Jammu and the New Bus stand of Kulgam, were jam packed cheering and sloganeering for Modi and Geelani respectively.

For Modi’s ‘Lalkaar, however, BJP and its allies were busy in making preparations since a month but Geelani was released from his house detention only a day ahead and uncertainty about permitting him to visit Kulgam was till the eleventh hour he left Hyderpora.

Modi promised to fulfill the promise of “Super state” made by ex-Prime Minister, Atal Bihari, and Geelani, reiterated “nothing less than plebiscite under UN resolutions.”

Modi, flew from New Delhi and under a heavy blanket of security, he was taken to the venue, while as Geelani, was received by Kulgam people near Kaimoh, fifteen KMs outside the town and taken in a huge procession up to the district headquarter.

The senior most separatist voice of Kashmir did not forget to repeat his “election boycott” call in the CPI (M) leader, Tarigami’s constituency. He said, “What for to vote? Is not it a fact that the people asking for your votes are involved in the killings of thousands of our sons? They (Unionists) use your vote against your great sacrifices which your have been rendering to achieve freedom, so remember that voting is same as triating the martyrs.”

Modi in Jammu advocated for “the women rights” and Geelani in Kulgam, demanded “right to self determination for the people living in Jammu, Kashmir and Muzaffarabad.”

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