Discussion on shared history of Indo-Pak at Delhi’s book fair

By TCN News,

New Delhi: Aaghaz-e-Dosti, a cross border initiative for Indo-Pak Friendship organised a session on February 14, on inaugural day of World Book Fair in the national capital at the ‘Sahitya Manch’ on the theme ‘Shared History-Shared Hopes’.

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Guest speakers in the discussion included Professor Chaman Lal, Sadia Dehlvi, Ram Mohan Rai and Dr Dhananjay Tripathi; and the session was moderated by Ravi Nitesh. Speakers discussed their experiences and vision and narrated their feelings about these countries and their people.

L-R: Ravi Nitesh, Sadia Dehlvi, Prof Chaman Lal, Ram Mohan Rai, Dr Dhananjay Tripathi
L-R: Ravi Nitesh, Sadia Dehlvi, Prof Chaman Lal, Ram Mohan Rai, Dr Dhananjay Tripathi

Program started with few lines of Saeed Ahmed (Lahore, Pakistan) recited by Ravi Nitesh, where Saeed Ahmed named lot of writers and artists whose works and thoughts shared by people of India and Pakistan; that included Manto, Ismat Chugtai, Premchand, Krishan Chander, Khushwant, Bhagat Singh etc.

Prof. Chaman Lal, while speaking about relations about India and Pakistan, said that there is an urgent need to divert the financial expenditure of arms and this budget must be utilised in education, health and other priority sectors. He reminded that our culture is one and we must have freedom to meet each other.

He insisted that our boundaries must be like of US-Canada and EU nations. He told that he still imagine for a day to come when Lahoris can come for Amritsari lassi and Amritsari can go for Lahori kababs anytime they desire.

Social Activist Ram Mohan Rai narrated his experience and told about Hali, a renowned poet. He felt emotional while narrating his experience that when many years ago he went to Pakistan on martyrdom day of Bhagat Singh, he heard slogans ‘Lahore me Bhagat Singh Zinda hai, Karachi me Bhagat Singh Zinda hai, Saada Bhagat Singh Zinda hai’ (Bhagat Singh is alive in Lahore and Karachi, Our Bhagat Singh still alive). He himself comes from Panipat, Haryana from where Hali too came.

Dr Dhananjay Tripathi from South Asian University said that India and Pakistan cannot be separated from each other. He insisted about the changes in history books that took place after 1960 in both countries.

Sadia Dehlvi, whose family is divided between India and Pakistan, shared her experiences. She reminded that Sufism can act as bridge between the culture of India and Pakistan.

On the note of shared hopes, she says that she is very hopeful with present generation as present generation is rejecting the hatred. She described that India and Pakistan are two houses under one roof and we both have to move on the path of Insaniyat (humanity), mohabbat (love) and dosti (friendship).