Skip to main content

Indo-Pak peace campaign to begin on July 1 to counter war hysteria, Kailash Satyarthi, Malala to be star attractions

Kailash Satyarthi, Malala Yousafzai
By Our Representative
In a remarkable development, a Hyderabad non-government organization, Confederation of Voluntary Associations (COVA), claiming to be “a national network of voluntary organisations working for communal harmony in India and peace in South Asia”, has roped in Nobel laureates Kailash Satyarthi from India and Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan for an Indo-Pak peace campaign proposed to be launched on July 1.
Called Peace Now and Forever Campaign, meant to address the objective of countering “deteriorating” relations between Pakistan and India, COVA managing-director Mazhar Husain said in an email alert to Counterview that the need for it was felt as “common people and even civil society seem to be getting increasingly scared to take a stand” on peace.
Warning that if things do not improve, soon, “no space may be left to talk of peace and questioning war hysteria could be branded downright antinational and blasphemy”, Husain said, “In such a situation it becomes an urgent requirement to provide platforms to enable common people and civil society to demand peace and condemn attempts at war mongering without feeling apologetic or guilty about their stand.”
A separate campaign note sent out to those organizing programmes in different Indian cities said, “Given the prevailing scenario of hate and the aggressive posturing by the fanatic and divisive groups in both countries, all programmes and activities should be planned with enough precautions appropriate to the areas concerned. Information to/permissions from all the concerned authorities should be obtained as required.”
To continue till August 15, when India and Pakistan became independent, as part of the campaign, the two Nobel laureates propose to launch a mobile app which would be used to enable Indians and Pakistanis, who have been to the other country, to video record their experiences there – all in a minute.
“Those who have never gone but would like to visit can say what attracts them”, Husain said, adding, he hoped the app would have “thousands of recording and flood the cyberspace with goodwill messages.”
The cities where the campaign has decided to partner with include Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Ayodhya, Bangaluru, Bhopal, Chennai, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, Patna, Srinagar, and Vijayawada. It separately proposes to carry out an intense campaign in 20 cities and towns in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and 10 districts, too.
Pointing out that similar campaigns would be simultaneously launched in “many cities and towns in Pakistan” with the help of “partner networks and organizations”, the programmes include lectures on Indo-Pak relations in schools and colleges, mushairas and kavi sammelans, film festivals, artists’ camps, interfaith prayer meets, rallies and marathons, outreach to political parties and elected representatives, signature campaigns demanding peace, and so on.

List of demands
A list of demands prepared on behalf of the people of the two countries seeks an “institutionalised framework to ensure that continuous and uninterrupted talks between India and Pakistan”. Already floated for signatures, the demands say, the two countries must “recognise that the Kashmir dispute above all concerns the lives and aspirations of the Kashmiri people.”
Seeking to implement the 2003 Indo-Pak ceasefire agreement, demands say, the two countries should work for renouncing “all forms of proxy wars, state-sponsored terrorism, human rights violations, cross-border terrorism, and subversive activities against each other, including through non-state actors or support of separatist movements in each other’s state.”
Seeking to encourage “people-to-people contact” and removal of “visa restrictions and discrimination faced by citizens of both countries”, the demands want “increase in trade and economic linkages and cultural exchanges.”
Those who already signed the signatures include retired Indian and Pakistani armed forces personnel such as India’s chief of naval staff Admiral L Ramdas and India’s air vice marshal Kapil Kak, and Pakistan’s Gen Talat Masood and Gen Mahmud Ali Durrani.
Politicians who have signed the demands include Mani Shankar Aiyar and Omar Abdullah from India, and Afrasiab Khattak and Ashraf Jehangir Qazi from Pakistan. Film personalities who have signed include Mahesh Bhatt, NanditaDas, Girish Karnad and Naseeruddin Shah from India, and Jamal Shah, Saba Hamid, Samina Ahmed and Sarmad Sultan Khoosat from Pakistan.
Signatories also include prominent Indian historians RomilaThapar and KN Panikkar, and Pakistan’s Mubarak Ali and Ayesha Jalal. Senior activists, musicians, singers, poets and writers have also signed the demands.

Comments

Uma said…
Left to politicians, there will never be peace on the subcontinent. It is the people who can be friends and for this it is necessary that cultural exchange and sports be permitted freely, not hampered by vigilantes supported by political parties. When a Pakistani artiste is not allowed to perform in India or a Pakistani team/individual sports event forbidden, the people are the losers

TRENDING

Australia least prepared to fight Hindu 'extremism', admits diaspora NGO group

Tiranga rally in Sydney: Cause of stir among diaspora By Our Representative  The Australian Alliance Against Hate and Violence (AAAHAV) has said that Australia is “least prepared” to counter the allegedly “rising threat of Hindu far right extremism”. Calling upon politicians, federal and state governments to “urgently recognise the threat far-right Hindu extremism”, it asks “to take concrete steps to address this threat.”

Young environmentalist's arrest 'sinister', even parents not told of her whereabouts

By Our Representative  The Coalition for Environmental Justice in India (CEJI), a civil society network, has said that it is “highly disturbing” that Disha Ravi, a young woman climate activist from Bengaluru was “picked up” in what is referred to as a “closely guarded operation” of the Delhi police. Disha, 21, has been remanded to police custody for five days after she was taken from Bengaluru to Delhi.

Mukesh Ambani's earnings during Covid 'can lift' 40% informal workers out of poverty

By Dr Gian Singh*  The Inequality Virus Report released by Oxfam, a non-profit organization, on January 25, 2021 on the growing inequalities in different parts of the world, sheds light on the growing economic, educational, healthcare and gender inequalities in India. The report has revealed that the wealth of billionaires has increased by 35 per cent during the lockdown period in the country.

US forensic revelation enough evidence to release Sudha Bharadwaj, others: Civicus

Counterview Desk  Civicus, a Johannesburg-based global alliance of civil society organisations and activists claiming to have presence in 175 countries with 9,000 members and working for strengthening citizen action, has sought immediate release of Sudha Bharadwaj, arrested in 2018 under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and accused of having links with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Golwalkar's views on tricolour, martyrs, minorities, caste as per RSS archives

By Shamsul Islam*  First time in the history of independent India, the in-charge minister of the Cultural Ministry in the current Modi government, Prahlad Singh Patel, has glorified MS Golwalkar, second supremo of the RSS and the most prominent ideologue of the RSS till date, on his birth anniversary, February 19. In a tweet he wrote : “Remembering a great thinker, scholar, and remarkable leader #MSGolwalkar on his birth anniversary. His thoughts will remain a source of inspiration & continue to guide generations.”

'Bird, take me flying with you too!' Being Devangana Kalita

By Ashley Tellis*  I first met Devangana Kalita in a first year English Honours classroom in which I entered to teach Charles Dickens’ Hard Times in Miranda House, Delhi University, in 2008. She was one of the smartest students in the class – Devangana smiled the most and had the brightest twinkle in her eyes of the girls in the class. A middle class girl – Kalita comes from a family in upper Assam, the Kalitas along with the Brahmins dominate Assam (the Bamon-Kolita nexus as it is called) – in an elite all women’s institution known for a feminist, rebellious history. Like all institutions, it was repressive; like all all-women institutions, particularly so. But Miranda House had met its match in Devangana. She organised, protested, all within the democratic tradition resisted. The seeds of Pinjra Tod, the group Devangana was to eventually co-found, and which now finds her jailed for as absurd a reason as inciting a ‘riot’ were already sown in that first year. By the third year, they

20% of FIRs against journalists in 2020 alone, targeted attacks in 2021 'too many to count'

Counterview Desk  Condemning what it calls “alarming rise in state repression and clampdown on news outlets and journalists” that “expose” the anti-people nature of the establishment, India's top civil society network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has demanded “immediate release of arrested journalists, withdrawal of arbitrary charges and protection of media persons facing threats.”

Whither right to food? Social security scheme allocation for woman, child 'reduced'

Counterview Desk Pointing out that women and children have been ignored in the Union Budget 2021-22, the advocacy group Right to Food Campaign (RtFC) has said that the Government of India should have taken into account the fact that even after the lockdown was lifted, distress among marginalized communities continues, with people having lower incomes and reduced food consumption.

NAPM extends support to Indian, Aussie citizen groups 'opposing' Adani ventures

#StopAdani action in Australia  Counterview Desk  The civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), extending solidarity to the global campaign by the Youth Action to Stop Adani (YAStA), held in recently in Australia and India, has said that the effort was to bring more attention to the struggle aboriginal, indigenous peoples, farmers, working class and other oppressed communities against allegedly anti-people multinational corporate conglomerates.