Syed Ali Geelani
Another fire-breather who had a busy week is the Kashmiri separatist Syed Ali Geelani. He started out by denouncing the Kashmiri interlocutors and refusing to discuss with anything with them.
He then got busy organising his now familiar round of protests in the Kashmiri Valley which led to the State Government declaring a curfew every other day and the merry-go-round continued even as the common man in Kashmir began to find it difficult to even buy bread.
The irony seems to be completely lost on Geelani that even though he is busy fermenting unrest, he, as an Indian citizen, is still free to come all the way to the capital, New Delhi, to hold a seminar on 'Azadhi' and denounce the Government in its backyard, which he did on October 21.
The seminar also featured Arundhati Roy, whose presence there, as the unofficial spokesperson for anyone who wishes to leave the Union of India, was unsurprising but its exact purpose was hard to determine. It is not as if Geelani needs any more motivation.
The seminar was made newsworthy due to a rare protest by Kashmiri Hindus who stormed the assembly hall and shouted pro-India slogans (and when was the last time anyone heard that?). They even hurled a shoe at Geelani.
The police soon got the screaming group out of the hall and Geelani was free to continue his talk on separating Kashmir from India thanks to 'Indian' police protection.
Image: Chairman of the hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani speaks during a convention on Azaadi, the only way, in New Delhi on Oct 21, 2010.