Nov 2009 saw an interesting set of opposites. The only thing common between the two was that both were huge assemblies. That's where similarities ended because both were organsied by 2 organisations which are on different ends of the ideologies and culture. Some glaring differences to be seen between the two were:
The one such meeting which was widely publicised was the Jamait Ulema's meeting which became famous for it's various resolutions like the fatwa against terror, against Vande Mataram, against insurance, women's reservations, television and much more. By the way before you think this was held in Afghanistan or Pakistan or Saudi, wait. It was held in India.
Another was organised by Vanvasi Kalyan Samiti in Delhi. Here more than 10,000 students and their families were brought from the North Eastern States, Orissa, Chattishgarh, Jharkhand. The students stayed with local families who support RSS and it's activities in tribal areas. The idea was to bring the bring the students to the mainstream and show them how similar the people are inspite of the diversity.
While one congregation was about division, the other was about uniting. One was bringing India to medival ages, another was bringing old India to meet a new one.
But still, one could not but help notice the media coverage the Jamait's congregaiton got and the lack of coverage for the tribal meet. And this neglect by the media and the ruling class only because of the vote bank politics and slavery of media to the ruling class (A rumour was that national media was warned against covering the tribal meet by a Union Minsiter who owes his position to missionaries).
For those who want to see the glimpse of how the tribals are being brought into mainstream, there is a similar event happening in Mumbai in December.