Paaq Bandhu : A Group With No Borders Spreading Love Between India & Pakistan.
“Be it India or be it Pakistan they are my countries and I love them” Many such voices are raised daily and are shunned too. These two sisters are pulled apart from all each other every day even more with the increasing intolerance. So close yet, so far. What’s even more disheartening is the citizens are themselves responsible for this huge rift. People today have forgotten the true meaning of nationalism; Its, loving one’s country not hating the other. If Pakistan and India come at peace, there will be no force greater than the bond of these sisters.
The development, the economic status, the modernization all would be beyond limits which cannot be even fathomed, just the countries have to come together and embrace each other with love. You’d say that’s a dream, well yes that indeed is a dream, but as said by Walt Disney, “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” One such courageous dreamer is Shreya Mazumdar, a resident of Lucknow… All this young lady desires is for the two nations to live like the sisters they actually are and snub all the hatred.
A cry for peace is her Facebook page ‘Paaq Bandhu‘, nothing big but a platform where people from both nations come together and share their views on why peace is of utmost importance. The page is a living proof that peace and friendly relations is a demand from both the sides. There have been many instances in the past when people have risen above the parameters of hatred and stood up for the wrong done to the other country.
One such example, showing this was when the Captain of Pakistani Cricket Team, Sarfraz Ahmed was laughed at for not being able to reply to the reporters in English. It was a widely circulated troll but what followed these trolls, was welcomed with warm hearts. Many Indians instead of laughing along, actually stood up for Sarfraz calling English of secondary importance and ridiculing the pages for the unnecessary trolls. Pakistan’s replies to the trolls were heartwarming. Many Pakistanis came forward and thanked Indians for their efforts. Igniting a hope of peaceful and friendly relation among the two nations.
We exclusively talked to Ms. Shreya Mazumdar to know her views on the topic.
1.What made you take such an initiative as this page?
Primarily because the mainstream media has never bothered to come up with any concrete step to curb this over-hyped hatred between the two nations, which is not really how it is. Probably because even the mainstream media is controlled by our respective governments and hence has no say. Also because I feel, the issue of India-Pakistan has a lot to do with the issue of Hindu-Muslim relation in the country.
2.What, as per you, is the agenda of this Facebook group?
We know a nation by what the media and government shows us. ‘Paaq Bandhu’ is a group for youth and active citizens in both the nations to engage in dialogue. The only agenda of this group is for people from both the nations to ponder over and articulate issues in concept of nation-building, peaceful co-existence, role of individual in society etc and also it is always an interesting experience to be friends with ‘the enemies’ (as pictured by media and government).
3.What is the change you expect from the people of both the countries?
The only permanent solution to any problem is the shift in the mindset of people. It begins with one person. Although social media is a very transient and temporary solution to this/any issue, it invokes a feeling of belonging with people with whom we interact and make friends with, online, which works for this cause… ‘Paaq Bandhu’ is just an effort to show people the flip side of the story, which generally remains unheard. People since forever have been friends and have had good relations across border, but the negative stories become more prominent in the mainstream media.
4.What kind of responses did you get from both countries? Were they surprising?
I received a mixed response, mostly good, from people. The idea of starting up ‘Paaq Bandhu’ had been there for a long time, but I initiated it after thorough research and a concrete plan. Friends and friends of friends helped in building up a strong network in Pakistan, from where we got an overwhelming response. We have close to 1200 members from both the nations, who actively participate and respond to the group. It’s interesting to see people come together as a community, in times of both, distress and celebration, despite the physical, geographical distance.
5. Do you believe that such peaceful collaboration is possible between India and Pakistan?
Yes, and for this, It is very important for individuals to understand the oneness of self and environment. We cannot be happy for long if our environment is in despair. And the responsibility to improve the situation comes to each one of us. One needs to believe in the potential of one single individual. History has it, one single individual’s awakening to their mission blazed the fire of revolution throughout the world. All that matters is to have Wisdom – to know what is right, Courage – to stick to the right and Compassion for everyone, no matter what.
We applaud Shreya for her great efforts and rightly said ‘A single Person can bring a great change’ So why don’t we give it a TRY!! The world needs love, not hate. It needs a shower of flowers not bullets. Yes there would be times when your faith towards humanity would be shaken up, but keep believing because its the only nationality, its the only patriotism. People beyond the border too are humans and just like us are clueless of why is there so much chaos…How can we let a border decide who is right or who is wrong? Generalizing things just because your first experience was not so good how is that a solution? Stop Criticizing guys Start Accepting. TAKE A STEP! BE THE CHANGE!!