The Fourth Indo-Pak Peace Calendar launched in India with a special screening of Ketan Mehta’s “Toba Tek Singh”
Aaghaz-e-Dosti, a joint Indo-Pak Friendship initiative, launched its Fourth Indo-Pak Peace Calendar in India on January 10, followed by a discussion with eminent speakers and a special screening of Ketan Mehta’s short film “Toba Tek Singh”.
The Aaghaz-e-Dosti, Indo-Pak peace calendar launched annually in India and Pakistan includes selected paintings by students in both countries. The launches at various venues include a seminar on ‘Sharing of Hopes for a peaceful and friendly co-existence’. The calendar includes messages from well-known peace activists from both countries.
This year’s calendar includes messages from prominent lawyer Asma Jahangir, Syed Salman Chishty, gaddi nasheen of Ajmer Sharif shrine, peace activist Lalita Ramdas, authors Sadia Dehlvi and Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa among others.
Youth from both countries participated enthusiastically in the painting competition from Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Toba Tek Singh district in Pakistan and from Baroda, Bulandshahr (UP), Dehradun, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir and Mumbai in India.
The calendar includes paintings by Aditya Thapli (Purkal Youth Development Society, Dehradun), Avnee Singh (Ecole Mondiale World School, Mumbai), Bhavna Raghav (Pardada Pardadi Inter College, Bulandshahr), Jamila Rampurawala (Gujarat Public School, Baroda), Mehvish Majeer Mir (Sabir Abdullah Public High School, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir) and Tabassum Khatoon (Indraprastha Hindu Girls’ Sr. Sec. School, Delhi) from India and Anita Zehra (Lyceum School, Karachi), Fiza Salman (Resource Academia School, Lahore), Fizza Sahar (Resource Academia School, Lahore), Maham Gulzar (Govt. G.H. School, Gojra, District Toba Tek Singh), Wajid Ali (AIOU, Gojra , District Toba Tek Singh) and Aftab Ali Baig (St. Patrick’s College, Karachi). Korean student Lingshu Feng’s painting was included in the calendar as a special entry.
Aaghaz-e-Dosti collaborated with Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) in India. Zee’s successful launch of the Zindagi Channel and the film “Zeal for Unity” brings together renowned Indian and Pakistani directors who have made movies focusing on Indo-Pak issues. Their movies will be shown in national and international movie screenings. The launch event at the India Islamic Cultural Centre included a special screening of Ketan Mehta’s “Toba Tek Singh”, based on Saadat Hasan Manto’s famous story, starring Pankaj Kapoor.
Some 350 people from all walks of life participated in the event, including students from Delhi, Bulandshahr and Mumbai whose paintings were selected.
Speakers addressed different aspects of Indo-Pak peace. Kuldip Nayar shared memories of interactions with leaders of India and Pakistan, including Mohammad Ali Jinnah who stated that India and Pakistan would live as friends and would help each other when in need.
Dr. Kavita Sharma, president of South Asian University emphasized the cultural unity of South Asia and the need to expand South Asian consciousness to assist in ending the conflict and developing the region.
Ex-governer of Karnataka, T. N. Chaturvedi stressed the importance of education and the role that the younger generations must play in encouraging peace between India and Pakistan. Satya Pal shared his experiences of visiting Pakistan, interacting with leaders and common people. He also talked about the war industry and how it contributes to sustaining the conflict.
Shailja Kejriwal, Chief Creative, Special Project, ZEEL, spoke about the stereotypes and misconceptions that exist on both sides. She talked about the objective of the initiatives of ZEEL, Zindagi Channel and Zeal for Unity, to become a platform for exploration of Pakistan and life across the border.
A Pakistani student, Hira Hashmi shared her experience of studying in India. She talked about the similarities between the two countries and the love that she has received from Indians.
In Pakistan, the calendar will be launched in Lahore on January 23, and in Islamabad on January 28. Launch events are also scheduled in cities like Karachi, Toba Tek Singh, Peshawar in Pakistan and Ayodhya, Chandigarh, Faizabad, Lucknow, Mumbai, Panipat and other places in India.