6th Indo-Pak Peace Workshop conducted in KIIT World School (Delhi, India)
Aaghaz-e-Dosti, a joint Indo-Pak Initiative of Mission Bhartiyam (India) and The Catalyst of Peace – TCP (Pakistan), conducts peace building workshops in India and Pakistan to facilitate an understanding of peace building, conflict resolution in general and Indo-Pak issues in specific. On 25th October, Aaghaz-e-Dosti, conducted its 6th Indo-Pak Peace Workshop in KIIT World School, Delhi (India). The workshop was co-ordinated by Ms. Astinder Kaur and Devika Mittal. The theme of the Workshop was on Understanding Indo-Pak Conflict – The Factors that Influence, the Victims and the Role of People in the Conflict. Doing so, the workshop addressed the current situation, the dominant discussions in the Public Sphere.
This workshop was conducted by Devika Mittal and Ms. Astinder Kaur. The class was XII grade. The first part of the workshop aimed to counter stereotypes and misconceptions that are constructed around the life and people of Pakistan. Due to lack of communication and a lot of miscommunication and stereotypes, Pakistan and Pakistanis are imagined as a homogeneous mass (the same understanding exists in Pakistan for India and Indians). Through resources, they were exposed to the diversity of religions, language, other aspects of culture and people in Pakistan. They were given an insight into the multiple sides of reality concerning the people of Pakistan.
The second part of the Workshop aimed to address the ongoing debates around restricting art and culture, the politics of media, hyper nationalism and jingoism. The workshop also aimed to counter the misconceptions around peace-building, peace efforts and the role of people in peace building.
The class was a very active group. The students were quite informed and asked several questions. They were also diverse in their thoughts. The students asked questions around cross-border ceasefire violation, surgical strikes, the effectiveness of the banning of Pakistani actors and how Pakistanis treat Indians when they travel to Pakistan. The questions and opinions of the Students highlighted the role of Media. Many students were quite confident and assertive about their thoughts as they were based on news reports and so assumed a sense of authenticity. The influence of Social Media was also quite apparent from their views. The Students were actively using internet and social media to form an opinion. The workshop worked to facilitate them to understand the politics of knowledge and media and how it works to sustain the Conflict.
The workshop concluded with students writing a message for Pakistanis.
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