Aaghaz-e-Dosti, an initiative for Indo-Pak friendship, organized a discussion on the topic “Books Connect Us” (in the context of South Asia) during the World Book Fair on 15 Feb, 5 to 6 PM. As a part of discussion, student speakers from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Nepal also shared their experiences and thoughts over the topic.
We believe that there is a need to enhance people-to-people communications and foster good relations for a peaceful and prosperous South Asia. In this discussion, we sought to explore the role of books in connecting us. We know that books can play a major role in building people to people bond, by providing a chance to know about each other, to know about each other’s society, culture, language, customs etc. Books provide us a chance to celebrate the diversity.
In this discussion, we had the privilege of having Dr. Dhananjay Tripathi (Asst Professor of International Relations at South Asian University), Sh. Pankaj Chaturvedi (Asst Editor-NBT, Eminent Hindi columnist) and Sh. Shivendra Singh (Associated with India TV and Writer, Author of Ye Jo hai Pakistan and Vijay Chowk Live)
Sh. Pankaj Chaturvedi talked about how books contain a culture in themselves.
Dr. Dhananjay Tripathi talked about about books being an important medium of communication. He talked about both the constructive and destructive potential of the books.
Sh. Shivendra Singh talked about the books being one of the most important sources of communication, of reaching out to people, specially in the Indo-Pak relations and the biased media of both countries.
And four Student Speakers from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal
Kulsum Khan, student from Pakistan, studying in India talked about some of the Indian books through which she learnt about India.
Naser Timory, student from Afghanistan, studying in India talked about the persian translation of Panchatantra. He talked about how that book and Al-Biruni’s work gives an insight about India to people in Afghanistan.
Pramod Jaiswal, a student from Nepal, talked about how books can bring about a radical change. He said that some social and political movements in Nepal have been influenced by books written by Indian and other South Asian and foregin writers.
Mizanur Rahman, a student from Bangladesh, spoke about how Rabindranath Tagore, Allama Iqbal and Nazirul Islam are respected in all the three countries. He also talked about the partition literature and the need to incorportate perspectives from all the three concerned countries.
Aaghaz-e-Dosti is an initiative of India-based Mission Bhartiyam and Pakistan-based The Catalyst – TC (Pakistan). Aaghaz-e-Dosti or lit. start of friendship seeks to create unwavering bonds of peace, friendship and trust. We seek to enhance people-to-people relations that have been obstructed to create mutual hatred and suspicion. We seek to become the medium to discover and recognise the misrepresented reality on the other side of the border. To meet our objective, we organise discussions, seminars, public demonstrations, initiatives in schools & colleges, art initiatives, write articles and issue statements.