By Anurag Dey
With the recent terror attack in Indian Punjab’s Pathankot town yet again derailing India-Pakistan peace talks, a group of netizens from both sides of the border have taken to social networking sites advocating peace.
With the hashtags ‘ProfileForPeace’, ‘IndoPakKeepTalking’ ‘KillTerrorismNotTalks, people from various parts of India, Pakistan and even the UK and the US have been changing their profile pictures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with a little scribble, appealing to the leaders of both the countries to get back to the discussion table.
The brainchild of Mumbai-based ad maker Ram Subramanian, the campaign first went viral after threats by the Shiv Sena led to the cancellation of the Mumbai and Pune concerts of Pakistani Ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali last October.
With the terror attack at the Pathankot Air Force Base leading to the postponing of the foreign secretary-level talks, people are back with a ‘profile for peace’ campaign, making passionate pleas to the political leaders of the two countries.
Among the many to join the campaign is Pakistani journalist Beena Sarwar, who has changed her profile picture with the message: “Dear leaders don’t let the acts of a few violent men write the future of many people like me who want peace.”
Aman Ki Asha member Ruchhita Kazaria has posted a collage of the profile pictures of her friends, including from across the border, to drive home the point that people on both sides want peace and yearn for friendship.
Actress Parul Yadav, too, has lent her voice to the ProfileForPeace campaign and has posted a picture with a message urging “Kill terrorists, not talks”.
Indo-Pakistan couple Hina Shahid and Vijay Chakravarthy have posted a profile picture with the message: “Dear leaders let there be peace for our future generations. Don’t let the act of a few write the future of millions like us.”
With both Delhi and Islamabad attempting to salvage the peace talks, President Pranab Mukherjee, in his Republic Day address, advocated the need for dialogue but cautioned that “peace cannot be discussed under a shower of bullets”.