#ProfileForPeace: A Unique Campaign To Promote Love And Peace Between India And Pakistan
25 October, 2015
While hate spewing politicians are trying to drum up venomous hatred between people of India and Pakistan, an online campaign is trying to bring some sanity to the situation and promote love and peace between people of two nations. #ProfileForPeace campaign initiated by 36-year-old Bandra, Mumbai -based Ram Subramanian has captured the imagination of ordinary netizens of two countries and gone viral. Thousands of Indians and Pakistanis and diaspora citizens from around the world are changing their profile pictures to one with a little love note scribble that says where they are from, that they don't hate each other, and are only being divided by hate politics.
Ram Subramanian, who calls himself an artivist was riled by recent incidents of Pakistani artistes being banned and shunned by Shiv Sainiks in Mumbai. He told Times Of India "It had been brewing in my head ever since I heard of a series of bans and attacks. Most of us common blokes don't feel such hate nor want these fights. And when you close the doors to art you open up a door for dark and unwanted things to come in"
So he took to Facebook on the night of Dussehra to express himself via a selfie with a post-it note that read, "I am an Indian. I am from Mumbai. I don't hate Pakistan. I am not alone. There are many people like me!" He made that his profile picture. "No more artists being banned. This is my voice. This is our voice for our Mumbai, our India. Enough of hate politics," he wrote further and managed to inspire a few thousand people from all ages and walks of life who are now following his route and sending out their message of love and peace across the border.
Subramaniam said, "It's important at this point to communicate with each other, and the Internet allows us to do that."
Sudheendra Kulkarni, chairman of the Observer Research Foundation who was recently attacked by the Sena for organizing the book launch of ex-Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri, said the online peace campaign showed wonderful use of the social media by ordinary Indians and Pakistanis for spreading the message of peace and friendship between neighbours who have been estranged for historical reasons. "It is a response to hate-mongers on both the Indian and Pakistani side by Indians and Pakistanis speaking in one voice of sanity and determination to isolate those indulging in violence, and it is a campaign to urge the two governments to resolve the problems that have caused animosity. This is people's voice speaking to those in power. People at the top must listen to it," he said.
Recently, reputed Ghazal singer Ghulam Ali had to cancel his concert in Mumbai, India due to opposition from Shiv Sena, a right wing political party. Sudheendra Kulkarni, chairman of the Observer Research Foundation was recently attacked by Shiv Sena activists and smeared his body with black ink for organizing the book launch of ex-Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri.