NEW DELHI, Jan 14: Indo-Pak Peace Calendar was launched here today by voluntary youth initiative Aaghaz-e-Dosti that works on fostering people to people relations between India and Pakistan. This calendar is a collection of selected paintings of Pakistani and Indian school students along with messages from 12 renowned persons from both the countries who favor Indo-Pak Peace. This year, peace calendar carries messages of Prof M S Swaminathan (father of Green Revolution), Kamla Bhasin (feminist and Peace activist), Kapil Kak (Retd Air Vice Marshal), Rahul Jalali (former president-Press Club of India), Nirupma Subramanian (Sr Journalist who has been posted in Pakistan for few years) and Amardeep Singh (author of Lost Heritage-Sikh Legacy in Pakistan) from India and of Dr Mubarak Ali (Pakistani historian), Imtiaz Alam (Secretary General SAFMA), Anam Zakaria (activist and author), Dr Anita M Weiss (academician) and Farooq Tariq (activist and spokesperson of Awami Workers Party) and Lt Gen (Retd) Mohd M Alam.
On the occasion, a panel discussion on the topic ‘Sharing of Hopes for a Peaceful Co-existence’ was also organized by India International Centre and Aaghaz-e-Dosti jointly where speakers like Kapil Kak, O P Shah, Rahul Jalali, Jyoti Malhotra and Prof Jagmohan Singh participated and spoke upon various issues.
Kapil Kak talked about the importance of peace building, especially through such people’s initiative. Referring to Narendra Modi’s 2015 visit to Pak as a ‘leap of faith’ and quoted Elliot alongside- “only those who risk going far can know how far one can go”. He stressed on the importance of connectivity by engaging people across the LoC, media and public engagements for building opinions on the need for peace.
Rahul Jalali insisted that media groups may play a positive role in peace building effectively. Highlighting the role of social media in shaping public opinion he said need of the hour is to present facts and not focus on myth building and hate mongering.
O P Shah, founder of ‘Centre for Peace and Progress’ talked about the necessity of people coming forward and take a centre stage to decide policies of their own and demanding peace, harmony and development. Expressing hope for much better things in future, he emphasized that unless well meaning people work hard together and with honesty to create a climate of trust and confidence, we won’t get much.
Prof Jagmohan Singh, nephew of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, talked about Bhagat Singh and informed about his experiences on how Bhagat Singh still lives in so many hearts of Pakistanis and Indians and can be a connecting medium for peace building. He distinguished between two layers of politics and emphasized on the role the lower level consisting of civil society and students engaged in peace can play.
Besides Jyoti Malhotra and Devika Mittal, Convener of Aaghaz-e-Dosti in India, Madhulika V Narsimhan and Ravi Nitesh also spoke on the occasion.