Aaghaz-e-Dosti’s Independence Day initiative: Indians & Pakistanis wish each other
INDIANS & PAKISTANIS WISH EACH OTHER ON THEIR INDEPENDENCE DAYS
Aaghaz-e-Dosti, an Indo-Pak friendship initiative, aims to counter mutual hatred and suspicion to create unwavering bonds of peace and friendship. Aaghaz-e-Dosti has been working for its goal through its several initiatives ranging from interactive sessions in schools to public demonstrations, from art-based initiatives to writing articles and issuing statements to disseminate the misrepresented voice across the border.
In line with its aim to create a culture of peace and mutual respect, Aaghaz-e-Dosti had invited messages from Indians and Pakistanis wishing each other on Independence Day. Independence Day is not just a celebration of independence from British rule but it also reminds people about the decision to part ways, thereby invoking both aggressive nationalism and jingoism. With the aim to counter this and encourage people on both sides to accept and respect each other as independent sovereigns, Aaghaz-e-Dosti invited messages from Indians and Pakistanis to wish Independence Day to both countries.
Aaghaz-e-Dosti received 48 messages from all over India including states of North-East, South India, from big cities to small towns and districts. The same was true for Pakistan. Aaghaz-e-Dosti had received 49 messages from both big cities and small towns and districts of Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab province. The content of the messages in both countries were largely the same. On both sides, messages emphasized on similarities in terms of the shared past and lived culture, need for blurring of boundaries in minds and hearts, the need to move on and respect each other and to avoid war at all costs. There were messages on both sides that quoted Mahatma Gandhi’s thoughts.
The initiative was also supported by two progressive medias of India and Pakistan – The News Minute (India) and Unique Pakistan. They carried the message of the initiative to a larger audience on both sides. The News Minute had published some messages of peace on its website. Unique Pakistan had shared all messages on their social media page.