Indian peaceniks aim to refresh brotherhood spirit with Pakistanis
Feb 23rd, 2009 | By Sindh Today | Category: India
Wagah border (Amritsar), Feb.27 (ANI): While diplomatic circles in India and Pakistan are engaged in formally getting the suspended composite dialogue back on track, peaceniks of both countries are doing their bit to remind one and all that peace and brotherhood are key to an improved future.
Noted peacenik and journalist Kuldip Nayyar has once again attempted to break the logjam on confidence building measures.
Nayyar is leading a 14-member Indian delegation that included artistes, activists, academicians and journalists. The delegation will aim to send a brotherly message and seek in earnest to apply balm to wounds that have surfaced post 26/11.
The other members of the delegation are film director Mahesh Bhatt, social activist Swami Agnivesh and historian Salman Haider.
Highlighting why peace is most important for this region for the happiness and prosperity of people in this region, the delegation would urge Pakistan authorities not to allow use of their soil for terror activities.
‘The main aim of the delegation is to make the civil society strong. And we will ask the Pakistani authorities, whom we meet to not to allow their soil be used for violence and also urge that the perpetrators should be punished,’ said Kuldeep Nayyar.
Bhatt said that India and Pakistan peace dialogue should not reach a point of no-return.
‘We should not reach to a point of status quo. We will have to find a new way out. It was really bad to what had happened for us in Mumbai and Pakistan should move ten steps ahead and take action on the people who are responsible. And they should win hearts of the Indians,’ said Mahesh Bhatt.
Asma Jahangir, the United Nations Special Representative on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, received the peace delegation, which is to return to India on February 26.
Asma said that the two countries could not move ahead until they understand each other.
‘We know that the relations between the two countries are not and have not been good. There have been tensions between them. The message is that we cannot move forward until we understand conditions and problems of each other,’ said Asma Jahangir. (ANI)
Archive for February, 2009
UNCERTAINTY BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN HARDLY EFFECT YOGA-KATHAK CLASSES IN LAHORE ….DEFY DICTATES OF MULLAHS AND TALIBANS
AMRITSAR FEB 17, 2009
Even as clouds of uncertainty over desired action on top terrorists and outfits operating from Pakistan continue between India and neighboring Pakistan, in the aftermath of the 26/11 Mumbai terror strikes, the city of Lahore, Pakistan remains unmindful of the current sling match and defies even the dictates of mullahs or Talibans for shunning Hindu lifestyles or customs, to declare to hold workshops on ‘Yoga’ and Kathak Dance .
‘Fatwas’ have been passed by various Muslim organizations banning ‘Yoga’ practice among Muslims in Pakistan and elsewhere in the world on the grounds that it contain “Hindu elements”. Similar bans have also been imposed on “Flying Kites” in Lahore on the occasion of Basant -a Hindu-Sikh festival , but nevertheless the local populace is known to have defied bans time and again in its chequered history. Throwing caution to the winds over fundamentalist dictates people of Lahore color the skyline for days with kite flying soirees that last uptil midnight , women still don sarees, wear bindis , glass bangles or apply mehandi on weddings or special occasions with aplomb despite its Hindu antecedents .
The ‘surprise’ invitation for the month long workshop on “Yoga and Kathak” by “Nahid Siddiqui” starting from Wednesday February 18 to conclude on March 19, was sent to select few in India by “Lahore Chitrkar”—a studio – gallery and a registered non-profit, non-commercial organization founded at Gulberg locality in Lahore in 2001, by a group of painters, architects, writers, dancers and musicians where artistic skills are learned, shared and exhibited.
Music classes held by the organization also include classical vocals besides Flute, Tabla, Sarangi, Sitar recitals and teaching , reminiscent of the glorious period of composite culture prevalent in pre-partition India especially during the glorious reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh when Amritsar was considered his “Spiritual Capital” and Lahore his “Cultural capital” .
The agenda of forthcoming programmes is set by Shahid Mirza and Rabia Nadir who while talking to The Pioneer from Lahore say “the organization attaches great value to awareness of our cultural heritage as a necessary part of art training valued not as convention and formula but as an artistic response .”
However “Yoga” has only found space in its programmes recently with internationally renowned Kathak dancer of Lahore “Nahid ” ready to conduct “Kathak dance and yoga classes” for beginners.
Nahid Siddiqui is considered in Pakistan as one of the finest Kathak dancers and choreographers and her work has been recognized and acclaimed internationally during stage presentations on touring productions, in Europe, America and Asia.
Shahid says about Nahid that “It’s no wonder that for this ardent Kathak exponent of several years, Yoga has been a key element of her practice, allowing her to extend the boundaries not only of her own physique, but of her art, and hence her spirit. Although known primarily for being a leading promoter of Kathak Nahid has been a practitioner and researcher of Yoga for many years, and has taught Yoga in many countries of the world receiving accolades for her work especially in Britain besides being a recipient of Pakistan’s highest artistic merit”.
Interestingly the organization got active supported from Punjab Government (Pakistan) Department of Culture only in 2005-06 when relations with India in all spheres were at an all time high in past 60-years, besides which The Lahore School of Economics, The Hienrich Boll Foundation, Germany apart from various Foundations of Pakistan extend support to it.
The timing of the classes has come as a surprise when public opinion in Pakistan is anti-India and Pak government is hardly a willing partner in joint investigations for Mumbai and relations are set to sour between the two neighbors that are naturally reflected first and foremost in angst against perusal of arts and skills that are predominantly viewed from Hinduism in ………….eom
Food Court Plan For Amritsar
Posted by preetasr in City News,
THE LOCAL administration has drawn up a plan to bring together the traditional Amritsari Kitchen for tourists visiting the city. The food court will serve local cuisine and more, without the circuitous hunt down the city’s narrow by lanes.
Apart from the Harmandar Sahib, ‘Amritsari Fish’, ‘Aloo Kulcha’, ‘Jalebis’, ‘Panner Bhurji’ and ‘Kesar Lassi’ are the draw for those on a visit.
The Rs 5-crore proposal has been forwarded for approval of the Union Ministry for Culture and Tourism.
Deputy Commissioner Kahan Singh Pannu said that the food court would serve both local flavors, those from other states and gourmet food in a hygienic ambience.
A site has been marked out, he informed.
The aim is to save tourists valuable time and money scouting corner Dhabas, he said.