Aaghaz-e-Dosti raised voices for Indo-Pak peace and friendship

By TCN News,

New Delhi: At a time when the border clash has spurted fresh waves of jingoism on both sides of the border, with people challenging the peace activists and advocating a stronger or more inhuman reaction, a people’s initiative, Aaghaz-e-Dosti, re-iterated the hopes for peace and friendship between India and Pakistan on January 27 at Gandhi Peace Foundation in the capital.

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An initiative of Mission Bhartiyam, Aaghaz-e-Dosti, aims to create unwavering bonds of peace and friendship between India and Pakistan.

Calendar launch

The programme began with the launch of Aaghaz-e-Dosti’s “Calendar for Peace and Love” with “paintings of hope” collected from youths of both sides of the border.

Devika Mittal, Convener of Aaghaz-e-Dosti remarked, “The Calendar would remind us every day about these people. The Calendar with the paintings of an innocent and apolitical mind will remind us that mindsets have been constructed.”

The six paintings narrate the restriction of ‘freedom’, the ‘desire’ with the birds flying across borders and peace and friendship for a better future. Together with the beautiful dreams of the young and innocent, the calendar also has messages from people who have been actively working to nurture these dreams.

For this calendar, Mission Bhartiyam had collaborated with two Pakistan-based organisations, Center for Youth development activities (CYDA) and Imov Humans.

The Calendar launch was followed by a discussion or a “sharing of hopes for a peaceful and friendly co-existence.”

Ravi Nitesh, founder of Mission Bhartiyam, emphasized on its importance at a time when peace is being challenged every day. He added, “We condemn the border clash. It was an unfortunate incident but the way things have worked, it has also led to jingoistic sentiments on both sides…Conflict has not given us anything but loss of innocent lives and hatred.”

Pankaj Chaturvedi, noted columnist and co-editor at National Book Trust, said, “Relations between India and Pakistan have unfortunately always fluctuated but this should not make us forget that the interests and the desires of the common people across borders is the same.”

Prof. Dhananjay Tripathi, a faculty member at South Asian University, talked about the repercussions of conflict. “Conflict is never the solution to anything”, he remarked.

A student from Pakistan

Sh. Sirish Agarwal, the founder of India Pakistan Families Solidarity Association, shared the issues faced by divided families on both sides of the border. He had also shared his experiences in Pakistan.

Sh. Pankaj Singh, an eminent Hindi poet and part of the Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature, remarked “The partition was a tragic and unfortunate reality. Poets and Writers across the borders had moaned the tragic reality that we received at the cost of innocent lives. It is not possible to undo history but we must forget the wounds shared by people on both sides and work to create a new chapter in history of peace and friendship.”

The discussion also had some students from Pakistan who has been studying in Delhi. They had shared their experiences. Kulsum Khan, a student of South Asian University, talked about the welcoming attitude of the people she met in India. She remarked that, “I have realized that not only out language, culture, values are same, our interests and challenges are also similar”.

To this, Zaigham Abbas, another student, talked about changing mindsets at a young age, at school level and proposed changes in the school curriculum. He also talked about the problems with getting a visa.

There was also an open session wherein the audience had shared their thoughts about the issue and had also asked questions to the speakers. Another student from Pakistan, Kishore Patel, talked about a more peculiar suspicion that he has faced, being a Pakistani Hindu in India.


Calendar for peace and love’ for Indo-Pak peace and harmony