PEACE NOW AND FOREVER CAMPAIGN BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN 1 JULY-15 AUGUST 2017
As Pakistan and India commemorate 70 years of their existence as independent nation states, it is striking how people want peace and how those who govern them thwart these aspirations. Media tend to highlight the tensions. What goes largely unreported is people on the ground continuing their efforts to push for peace.
In Hyderabad on 29 July 2017, several groups came together to organise a day-long event, Art for Peace, 10:30 am to 9:00 pm. The event featured expressions of love for peace and rejection of war in various forms of art and culture, music, theatre, poetry, music, film, and panel discussions.
The event was part of the Peace Now and Forever Campaign between Pakistan and India, 1 July 2017 to 15 August 2017 in different cities and towns of India and Pakistan. The groups that came together for it included Aman Vedika, Caring Citizens’ Collective, Chindu, COVA, Hyderabad Literary Festival, Sutradhar and The Little Theatre.
Films on India-Pakistan issues screened at the event were Ek (One) co-directed by Aman Sheikh and Simrat Kaur, Milne Do (Let Them Meet) by Beena Sarwar on Kashmir, This Bloody Line by Ram Madhvani, and Mukund and Riaz, an animated short by Nina Sabnani.
Two panel discussions chaired by Sardar Nanak Singh Nishtar and Kingshuk Nag, with Dr Anand Raj Varma, Dr Mazher Hussain, Prof Sumanta Banerjee and Chandana Chakraborty.
Members of The Little Theatre Hyderabad, Shanker Melkote, Chandana Chakraborty, Vijay Marur, Bizat Banerjee and B. S. Prakash, read Sadat Hasan Manto’s Titwal Ka Kutta, W.H. Auden’s poem on the Radcliffe Line, and excerpts from Urvashi Butalia’s Partition Stories, concluding Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s classic poem Subh-e-Azadi.
Prof. T. Vijay moderated the English poetry recitations session featuring Sridala Swami, Dr. Usha Raman and Vasanth Kannabiran with their poems on the themes of war, violence and peace. Gogu Shayamala anchored the Telugu poetry session where poets Renuka Ayola, Sky Baba, and Shanthi Prabhodha presented their poems. Moderated by F. M. Saleem, the Hindi Kavi Sammelam and Urdu Mushaira included poets Bhanwarlal Upadhyay, Laxminarayan Agarwal Atyab Ejaz, Mumtaz Sultana and Shahid Adeeli.
The event concluded with Siyah Haashiye, a play based on stories by Sadat Hasan Minto, presented by Vinay Verma and his team from Sutradhar.