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Accomplished Women Bare Their Minds for Peace Between India and Pakistan, Focusing on Shared Heritage, Art and Culture | India News

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BATHINDA: Carrying out the peace process between India and Pakistan for activists of many shades, the independent women’s magazine eShe organized the ‘Indo-Pak Peace Summit led by women’. More than 40 accomplished women from different walks of life gathered for a virtual summit to share their experiences and brainstorm workable solutions to build lasting peace in South Asia.
In a different kind of initiative involving only women, South Asian peace activists, plus Nobel Peace Prize nominee Scilla Elworthy, held talks as filmmakers, global youth activists, writers and designers they joined.
Aekta Kapoor, Founder and Editor of eShe, said: “It is time to take practical steps to foster friendship, collaboration and harmony in neighboring countries. Through this summit we do not want to indulge in just empty promises, rather it is about brilliant minds that are really creating value in their own fields coming together to build peace and women are generally inclined to think in terms of cooperation, sustainability. and relationship building ”.
The Summit focused on celebrating the shared heritage of India and Pakistan, channeling the energy of women and youth, and providing a platform for new approaches in literature, art, culture, design, film, and youth activism.
“Despite many things in common, there are different priorities on both sides of the fence, as Jinnah has been valued on one side of the border and vilified on the other side,” said panelist Sheela Reddy.
“Everybody tends to stereotype Punjab as a place that only has agriculture and has no culture or intellectual capital. That is not true, as Lahore was once the cultural capital of India. The Manjha house, a public space for the literature and culture, it was an effort to put Punjab back on center stage, “said Preeti Gill.
“As a couple, we have rejected all interviews and documentary requests (to cover the story of our interfaith marriage). We decided that we will not do numaish, but the last 3 months, especially after the new laws in the UP criminalizing interfaith love , now it is out of necessity. We will stand on the pedestal if necessary and tell the story, “said filmmaker Natasha Badhwar.
“Sometimes (while researching for my book), it would have been easier to just cross to the other side of the Indus, but due to the presence of the Line of Control, I had to go down to Lahore, cross at Wagah, and go up to the same place across the river, “said Alice Albania, author of the book Empires of the Indus.
“I feel such a sense of loss and nostalgia at the thought of people traveling through countries in your region without a passport in Southeast Asia. I hope it doesn’t remain a dream, but actually happens (for South Asia) “said writer Moni. Mohsin.
“The export ban affected us as we could only sell from existing stock in the store. However, our partners played a very important role in establishing the feeling of wearing the Indian outline,” said Sanya Dhir.
Activist Devika Mittal shed light on the serious efforts through the peace calendars that Aaghaz-e-Dosti is carrying out with students from both sides.
Art educator Tooba Tahir reported on the self-healing project, political cartoonist Saadia Gardezi, who is associated with the Daastan project that reconnects survivors of partition with their ancestral homes using technology informed about the project.
“Shaadi’s songs are the same. No matter how much anger or your politics, even at the height of conflict, you will rarely find a Pakistani wedding without Indian songs,” Natasha Noorani said, adding that my dream is to tour India. with Pakistani musicians. “.
Royal families are preservers of the subcontinent culture. In Pakistan, the real culture is hidden under the rug, “said Anshu Khanna.
“Pakistani artisans are at a level. They are internationally acclaimed. Exposure of the art of others is required on both sides of the border,” Vaishnavi said.
“When we were on our way to Hingalaj, Baluchistan, the agents stopped us at the checkpoint. They asked us what we were going to, we said we were going to” Naani ka mandir “(grandmother’s temple), which is what is known as. They said – “Naani ko humara salaam dena,” said the writer Reema Abbasi, speaking of her book Historical Temples in Pakistan.
“We are not going to run a conflict-free society, it is a utopian dream. But if we are equipped with conflict resolution, can we talk about it,” Avni Sethi said.
“The women who build peace today are rebellious women”, Meenakshi Gopinath.
“I first recited this verse in Sanskrit (about Goddess Saraswati) in a crowded hall in Islamabad which is a beautiful city, the media reports did not do justice to the vision we received there! There was so much love and acceptance of Pakistan, people opened up and welcomed us with open arms, ”said Suparna Chadda.
“In 2007, I got a scholarship, from the Asia Scholarship Foundation. I had the option to go anywhere in Asia to study, and obviously I chose to go to India! I wanted to investigate the resurgence of handicrafts after colonization. I knew the revival had taken place in Pakistan and I was curious to know about India, ”said Amna Sharif.
My 2 degree artwork talks about rivers, we have shared rivers, the water is the same, cross-border agreements can be ways to have conversations, “Reena Saini Kallat, cartoonist and sculptor who exhibited artwork, including the dividing door India, Pakistan.
“What surprises me is that we have art, culture, shared history, heritage, common problems, but you are letting politics replace everything. Politics, although it divides, but people project the moon as it says’ Chand mein bhi daag hai , but chand toh ye nahi kehta ki main aaj raat ko nahi niklunga ‘said Mehr F Hussain
“The border is unique, unique and totally political”, Ritu Khandelwal.
“Through the immigration process, I was exposed to the lives of people who are not privileged, people whose families are on the other side of the border. For me, the partition happened when I landed in India (after getting married), “said Masooma Syed.

Times of India

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