Skip to main content

Alternative peace ceremony at Wagah, new route to Pak via Gujarat proposed ahead of second Indo-Pak peace march

"Eyeball to eyeball" ceremony at Wagah
By Our Representative
Ahead of his second India-Pakistan peace march, which begins on June 19 at Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad, and ends at Nadeshwar Mata, Nada Bet, Gujarat, about 24 km from the border, Magsaysay Award winning social activist and Gandhian Sandeep Pandey has come up with what he calls “alternative peace ceremony” for Wagah border.
Replacing the present “angry eyeball-to-eyeball exchange, thumping of boots and other aggressive gestures”, Pandey in his proposal worked out with students of Indian Institute of Technology-Gandhinagar in the social movements class agrees with the view by Michael Palin of BBC, who called the Wagah ceremony as a “carefully choreographed contempt, where the soldiers mirror each other’s goose-steps, thumb-thumps, martial cries and intimidating stares.”
Pandey, who took out his first India-Pakistan peace march from New Delhi to Multan in 2005, was awarded the Magsaysay Award in 2002 for the emergent leadership category. He shot into prominence after he was summarily removed from Banaras Hindu University’s Institute of Technology in 2016 for holding what the authorities called “anti-national” and “Naxal” views for showing a banned film on Nirbhaya, which he never did.
The main demands of the Indo-Pak peace march include the two sides reach “an agreement to stop killing of each other’s soldiers on border”, grant “easy permission for visas to travel across the border”, even as waiving the visa requirement for old, children, journalists, academics, social activists and labourers”.
Seeking to open a second route for going to Pakistan via the Indo-Pak border in Gujarat border either at Khavda or Nada Bet, Pandey says, this should be supplemented with an Indo-Pak bus service on this route.
Organisations have “endorsed” the peace march include Vishwagram, Pakistan India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy, Aaghaz-e-Dosti, Minority Coordination Committee (Gujarat), Gujarat Lok Samiti, Bandhkam Mazdoor Sangathan, Pakistan Institute for Labour Education and Research (Karachi), National Alliance of People’s Movements, Bombay Sarvodaya Mandal, All-India Secular Forum, among others.
Sandeep Pandey
The alternative ceremony for Wagah border’s retreat ceremony which, occurs every day before sunset “to represent ‘machoism’ through rapid-dance like manoeuvres”, says the proposal, should be “not be limited to symbolic handshake of soldiers but a place where hearts meet” in order to engage “citizens from both sides.”
Pointing out that his proposal is to “construct a peace stadium in place of BSF lounge and a guest gallery at Wagah”, the top social activist says, “This is going to be a collective effort as both countries will have to agree upon… We are sending this proposal to respective governments. The activities in peace stadium are meant to have a cultural-cum-people meet because culturally people make strong bonds.”
The proposal says, “The goal of everyday events is to develop common interest centers (Delhi Haat Model) for people. Various retails stores of local goods will be opened. This could include food items, handlooms, embroidery etc. Both countries are culturally rich and very familiar with each other’s fondness with local items”, adding, “Duty free shops of local goods like Jaipur lehnga, banarasi sarees, Lahore shawl and many more can be opened in that arena . So that everyday people across both sides could meet and discuss in open atmosphere.”
Insisting that there should be “impromptu reverse role play games” which should include “exchanging handwritten notes and cards”, shooting of “interesting pictures, videos and short films could be shot, free debates in Intellectual Corner” – all of it at a Communal Harmony Corner, where “people share experiences, songs, etc.”
Also wanting weekly or monthly events where on a scheduled day when the musicians, poets and shayars across both sides would come to a proposed peace stadium to perform to “heal the wounds of people”, Pandey insists, there should be no let down on security arrangements.
In the two-layered security, Pandey says, “First it will be covered by joint security forces” followed by another security channel of the respective country.”

Comments

TRENDING

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

"Misleading" satellite images being shared on Balakot surgical strike on Jaish camp

By Dr Vinay Kate*
With every passing day more questions are being raised about the surgical strike India did in Balakot as a response to Pulwama attacks. So far the Indian media has claimed mass casulaty of 300+ terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad in this surgical strike, but there is hardly any report from foreign media about the same.

Extreme repression, corporate loot, cultural genocide "characterise" India's tribal belt

Counterview Desk
As Lok Sabha polls approach, there is considerable ferment in one section of the population -- India's Adivasis, forming about 8.6 per cent of India's population. Things became particularly critical following the February 14, 2019 Supreme Court order, allegedly seeking to evict lakhs of tribals from their forest lands.

Industry in India "barely growing", export growth 0%, whither moral anchors?

Counterview Desk
In a sharp critique of the Modi government, the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), one of world renowned economist Prof Kaushik Basu, who is Professor of Economics and Carl Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, has told students at the IIM-A’s 54th Annual Convocation on March 16, 2019 that they have a “special responsibility” on their shoulders, “the responsibility to reject narrow sectarianism, uphold scientific thinking, openness to new ideas, and freedom of speech.”

Congress would win just 9 of 26 Lok Sabha seats: Gujarat Assembly segment-wise analysis

By Rajiv Shah
Even as the Congress plans its first working committee meet in Gujarat on February 28 after an almost 58 year gap, there is reason to wonder what is in store for India’s grand old party in a state which has been long been a BJP bastion – in fact ever since mid-1990s. Ahead of the then assembly polls in late 2012, talking with me, a senior Gujarat Congress leader, currently Rajya Sabha MP, frankly said he saw no reason why Congress would win.

Financial inclusion? Not micro-loans; India's poor "need" investment in health, education

By Moin Qazi*
India has grown into a global powerhouse. Its economy is soaring but the picture on the ground is still quite arid. The green shoots that you see are only a patch of its landscape. Most Indians are hapless victims of inequity. India is one country where intense poverty abounds in the shadow of immense wealth.

"Pro-corporate" Supreme Court order on FRA would further marginalize Adivasis

By VS Roy David, JP Raju*
For millions of Adivasis and other traditional forest dwellers February 13, 2019 will go down in history as the day of apocalypse. This is like the proverbial Black Friday where millions of most marginalized people of India were ordered by malicious anti-people draconian Supreme Court order depriving them the life and livelihood by evicting them from their habitats.

India, Pakistan told to eliminate nuclear weapons: N-war "would kill" 2 billion

Counterview Desk
The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), a non-partisan federation of national medical organizations in 64 countries, representing tens of thousands of doctors, medical students, other health workers, and concerned citizens, claiming to share the common goal of creating a more peaceful and secure world freed from the threat of nuclear annihilation, has warned that “an unprecedented global catastrophe” awaits the globe against the backdrop of warmongering in India and Pakistan.

Modi wants Pak govt be held responsible for JeM terror strike: World doesn't agree

By Sandeep Pandey*
I went to participate in a candle light homage paying event at Dr BR Ambedkar's statue organised by about 200 Dalit students on Hazratganj main crossing in Lucknow on February 16, 2019 evening, two days after the dastardly terrorist act in Pulwana, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), in which 44 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel was killed.

Women, business, law: India scores worst among all BRICS, several African nations

By Rajiv Shah
A new World Bank report ranks India 125th in its Women, Business and the Law (WBL) index among 187 economies it seeks to analyse across the globe. The report's main aim claims to be to "gain new insight into how women’s employment and entrepreneurship choices are affected by legal gender discrimination. On a scale of 100, India's score is 71.25, worse than the global average of 74.71.