On Shahrukh Khan

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The way Shahrukh was attacked for supporting the participation of Pakistan players in IPL matches,by threatening to stop his film ‘My Name is Khan’, it was nothing but blackmail and goondaism.As an actor I am admirer of Amir Khan more, he has strong nerve also and stood the blackmail of Narender Modi like fascist minded ruler,yet Shahrukh also is a good actor in his own way.But here the issue is of freedom of expression of thought, not just in art,but in life as well.Sharukh was not hounded for his art, as M F Hussain has been, forcing him to accept Qatar nationality at 95 years of age, making many well meaning Indians ashamed,but not the rulers,whose duty is to protect its citizens,which it desires not. The rulers can kill hundreds of adivasis in the name of fighting left extremism,but can not touch the religious fanatics,who commit all kinds of violence on peace loving citizens,just because they do not subject themselves to their dictates, be it Hussain or Taslima or many lesser known.
One should question Bal Thackerey and Raj thackery, what is their role in the freedom struggle, where as Shahrukh Khan’s father Taj Khan was married to adopted daughter of Netaji Subhash Bose’s Indian National Army commander Shahnawaz Khan, who faced trial in the red fort of India at British colonial hands, when Dhillon-Sehgal-Shahnawaz trio were persecuted and slogans in their favour resounded the unity of Sikh-Hindu-Muslim as well in freedom struggle.That Shahrukh Khan’s father preferred to leave his home town Peshawar for India after partition speaks volumes about this family’s patriotism as against the almost treacherous behavior of Thackerys like people against Indian nation and people.
Fact of the matter is that Amir Khan and sometimes Shahrukh Khan make some socially good films exposing atrocities in the name of religion, makes Shiv sena-RSS like organizations jittery and their inner hatred for minorities get exposed at such occasions. No religion has any special right or place or hegemony in India.Paash, the revolutionary Punjabi poet has also written poem against both Khalistani and state sponsored repression of Sikhs during 80’s.In his two poems-Request for Striking Off(Bedakhli Lai Binay Patr),he had challenged the rulers to strike off his name from the citizenry of India, if they think that this country belongs only to some particular group or family and he challenged Bhindrawale by writing-Dharm Diksha lai Binay Patar(Request for Baptism), a biting cry of a woman to spare the life of his only son,she was ready to recite just his approved prayers. Ironically Bhindrawale followers struck off Paash’s name from the citizenry of the world, as Pakistani terrorists are striking off many names from Pakistani and sometimes from Indian citizenry. But the monster of terrorism is always created by state patronizing first and when it  comes out like  Jinn of the bottle, then state cries horse as Indian state cried during Khalistani movement and now Pakistan state cries facing worst crisis of its life.
Rest assured if religious fanaticism is not checked with heavy hand, innocent lives will never remain safe.Only a more democratic secular and egalitarian system can assure safety of life and freedom of expression. Till the time Shahrukhs and Amir Khans must resist the attacks, no other way.

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JNUites Global meet-2010 at JNU

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I attended this meet of first decade JNUites on 13th February evening with rather excitement. I joined JNU as research scholar in Hindi in Centre of Indian languages in 1977, after teaching Hindi for a decade in Punjab Govt. schools. I started trying to join JNU, after hearing its reputation in Panjab  University Chandigarh as M A(Hindi) student.In 1975, I was not allowed to appear for interview since I was in Bathinda jail under Emergency rule.In 1976 I was selected, but denied admission due to adverse police reports.It was only after lifting of Emergency I was able to make it to it.Those five years(1977-82) in JNU as student are perhaps the best years of my life, when I completed my M.Phil and Ph.D degrees here, working on partition related Punjabi novel and later on Yashpal’s novels.These were later published in Punjabi and HindiAnd by 1986,my most popular book-‘Documents of Bhagat Singh in Hindi’ had appeared,which continues to be in circulation till day,in spite of my many more publications on Bhagat Singh and other writings on literature and history in Hindi, Punjabi and English.Though away from JNU for two decades, working at various places-Bombay, Delhi, Patiala and Amritsar,I could never detach completely from it and remained connected one way or the other.It was again in 2005, when I joined back as Professor in my own centre and became JNU Teachers Association(JNUTA) President during 2006-07 and Chairperson of my Centre during 2008-10.I remembered many co students of my student days and forgotten many more, yet excitement to be with the days of past was there.

Nearly five hundred JNUites of those days(1970-82) gathered,could not recognize many and had to look at the tags worn by participants on their necks.It was bit embarrassing too, because of my bad vision due to retinal detachments in both eyes, yet desire to know who were around was overcoming my embarrassment.Young men of 70’s have grown white bearded in 2010,yet all felt young at heart like in 70’s.I was not active part of any student group those days,yet individually was quite active in student movement.JNU students union has always been a model for democratic atmosphere and I was reminded by Karandeep that in one of the general body meetings in club building of old campus, which has gone past mid night,I was continuously raising uncomfortable questions to the desperation of student leaders. But those were the days, we really enjoyed and as part of faculty,I don’t see that kind of warmth around now, even among student groups.It was gathering of SFI-AISF-some radicals on one side, Free Thinkers-Samajvadi Yuvjan Sabha(SYS) on the other, which were traditional rivals those days in JNU student politics.

In shaping my today’s personality,good or bad, according to different perceptions, was shaped by two major factors in life.Born in a real lower middle class trader family,first was my involvement with left movement in Bathinda district of Punjab in early seventies,starting from CPI, reaching up to to Naxals,but with a distance, never became a part of any political party or group,always remained confined to cultural or trade union mass movements.And this shaping was strengthened by JNU’s more open friendly and intellectual atmosphere, some of which was missing in Bathinda.So this meeting was a kind of emotional gathering also,though ironically, I don’t have very many close friends now, which of course, I had during my student days in JNU,including broken heart relations as well.JNU of those days was full of ‘agony and ecstasy’,’pains and pleasures’,’social commitments and individual ties’ and much more.Though proud of being Punjabi and owning my mother tongue Punjabi,I never had any macho or insulting feelings towards any community.Literally my friends in those days were more non-Punjabis-south Indians,east Indians,Czech etc.Even today I have friendships, at least from my side in Pakistan, Bangladesh,Canada, Vietnam, Spain,Mauritius and anywhere in India and world.I have developed more interest in Urdu in my second stint in JNU.

Spent many hours with oldies on red wine and little food and felt as if my thrist for old days was somewhat quenched

With Ram Dulare Beena Ayesha and other girl JNU old campus-'78-79

With Shashi Upadhyaya Salil behind upcoming JNU Library-1979-80

Sharka Family-90-NTH-JNU-Dec.-06

With late Chinese friend Chu Chan Fu in 1978-79 -Delhi-Red Fort

In Periyar-305 with Abhay and Uday-1978

,though not fully.

On Faiz Ahmad Faiz

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I wanted to share some events with friends in last two weeks,which could not share in detail due to paucity of time.One was speaking on Faiz Ahmad Faiz to commemorate centenary celebrations.Usual post dinner JNU meetings of students was held in Sutlej hostel on 14th Feb.I took two books with me, one was Faiz letters to Begum Sarfaraz, translated in Punjabi(Gurmukhi) in last few years and another Oxford University Karachi published book in English, which was gifted by Salima Hashmi in 2007.Recited few of Faiz couplets in Urdu and Punjabi from letters to Begum Sarfaraz and focussed on his neglected aspects of journalism, organiser of progressive literary movement and his sufferings during Rawalpindi conspiracy case.This meeting was organised by All India Students Association(AISA), in which my old friend and co student in JNU Ali Javed, who now teaches in Urdu dept. of Delhi University was another speaker.Ali Javed also recited many poems from collections of Faiz Sahib in Urdu. I specifically remembered Faiz Sahib reciting his poetry in JNU in 1978, when I was a student and the whole of JNU has come down to old campus to listen him and the mushaira continued late in the night.

Another meeting on Faiz, I attended last evening at CPI MP’s house.Called by Ali Javed on behalf of PWA, many eminent literary and social personalities came to attend the meeting. V N Rai, Vice Chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi international Hindi University, Wardha, Prof. Mushirul Hasan former VC and historian, Abid Hussain, former planning commision member, play wright and director M K Raina,Sohail Hashmi, Dawn representative Javed Naqvi, Ganga Prasad Vimal and many more came.It was a preliminary meeting to chalk out year long programmes to commemorate Faiz birth centenary in befitting manner throught India.My desire to have joint Indo-Pak platform, which was earlier proposed by Pakistani writer Rahat Saeed to Indian friends, was not found yet feasible, though everyone agreed that writers from both countries would participate in each other countries different programmes.I expressed the desire to have at least one major programme in JNU, which was the favourite place of Faiz Sahib. Let us hope Indian literary and cultural world remembers Faiz Ahmad Faiz in most befitting manner.Faiz Ahmad Faiz, belonged equally to Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, afterwards to whole of Asia, Africa and oppressed people of the world.I salute his memory and remember him fondly.

On Ram Sarup Anakhi

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Went to Barnala today to attned memorial meeting for Punjabi writer Ram Sarup Anakhi.It was heartening to note that Anakhi has willed that he being a non religious person, so no religious rituals be performed for him and only his friends and admirers should hold a memorial meeting to talk about him.As per his desire people gathered at Barnala in large numbers, though, in spite of being one of the major writer of Punjabi and Sahitya Akademi award winner too, no one from Sahitya Akademi or any message came. Nor any message from any minister or official of Punjab Govt. came, though writers did come in large numbers.Surjit Singh Barnala, Governor of Tamilnadu and friend and co villager of Dhaula village near Barnala also did not turn up, his son Gagandeep did come.Two Akalis of the region spoiled the show by showing their over religiousity and objecting to Anakhi’s atheist views.These religious persons are so intolerant and anti democratic that they don’t know to respect other people’s opinions.It should have been countered from the dias, which was not done. Ironically the meeting was also held in a temple, partly due to the lack of secular community halls in towns of Punjab.Anakhi was 78 yearls old,but very active till last day of his life.He wrote 24th chapter of his latest novel being written and he was planning to complete 25 chapter novel soon.Though he started writing in 1957-58, but his fame rose after the publication of his novel ‘Kothe Kharak Singh’, which fetched him Sahitya Akademi award too. Later his novel Partapi also earned him laurels. Lately he was focussing on peasantry’s conditions in Punjab.He was editing Punjabi quarterly literary journal ‘Kahani Punjab’ too, the matter for April-June issue, he sent to Delhi just few days ago.We had persoanl family relations with him His daughter Neeti did M.A.Hindi as my student in Punjabi University Patiala.His writngs were translated into many languages-Hindi, Marathi, English and many more. He himself used to translate in Hindi a lot and he was a versatile writer among Punjabi authors. He married one of his Marathi reader Shobha, after the death of his first wife. His son Kranti Pal is teaching Punjabi in Aligarh Muslim University and himself growing into young critic.He plans to continue the publication of ‘Kahani Punjab’.

Ram Sarup Anakhi was no less important writer than Santokh Singh Dhir, but he was not paid that much respect, partly he was in Barnala, a small town compared to Chandigarh, where Dhir was, so he got better media attention.Nawan Zamana, Punjabi daily from Jalandhar did come out with special edition on him today.

It was heartening to note that many writers recently asserted their atheist and rational views even in death.Dhir  and Kunwarpal Singh, marxist Hindi critc from Aligarh gave their bodies for medical research.Anakhi also denied religious rituals.I salute his memory.

Sher Ali-Punjabi Pathan Martyr of 1872

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Andaman martyr Sher Ali martyred in 1872,killed Viceroy Lord Meyo

Sher Ali Khan was Punjabi Pathan, who was not released from Andamans(Kale Pani) despite completing his period of jail punishment and he was the first significant martyr after 1857 war of independence against British colonial regime. Incidentally Sher Ali is the only patriot in the whole history of freedom movement,who has assassinated the highest British official, in fact the representative of queen -The Viceroy of India.
Incidentally among 381 recorded martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre on 13th April 1919 in Amritsar, 54 were Muslims,84 Sikhs and lot many Dalits, apart from high caste Hindus of that time.

On Santokh Singh Dhir

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Santokh Singh Dhir passed away at the age of 90 years.He lived a long, purposeful and productive life.He was known for his progressive writings.Saver Hon Tak like stories earned him a significant place in Punjabi literature. Dhir was part of Communist Party of India(CPI) and temperamentally, a warm and simple personality.He wrote large number of stories, novels, memoirs, autobiographical writings,even journalistic pieces.He suffered a lot also,he had daughters only.One of his son in law, Bant Singh Raipuri was part of Naxalite movement, later he joined CPI Punjabii daily Nawan Zamana and married Dhir’s daughter.Bant Singh was known to me from his radical days. He was assassinated by Khalistani terrorists due to his strong leftist and anti Khalistani writings. Dhir himself wrote many pieces against Khalistani terrorism,I translated one of his anti-Khalistani poem in Hindi.Another son in law perhaps died in road accident, Dhir took these sorrows in stride and continued writing.In late seventies, when we were part of radical movement in literature, Dhir at one platform was subject of criticism by Paash and Dhir also attacked Paash,but later in Khalistani movement  period, Paash was martyred by Khalistanis and Paash memorial international Trust in one of those years honored Dhir with Paash award, which was appreciated by everyone, though some of Paash memorial awards did not get that much acceptability.Sahitya Akademi Delhi and Language Deptt. of Punjab Govt. took long time to bestow its awards on Dhir, though he deserved these much earlier.

Many of Dhir’s stories and novels have been translated in Hindi and other languages.Recently Bhartiya Jnanpith published Hindi translation of one  of his favorite novels-Naya Janam(New Birth). Santokh Singh Dhir wanted Namvar Singh to write preface to his novel,script he sent through me.Knowing my teacher Namvar Singh well, I did not commit or assure him of getting the preface written.As usual, Naamvar Singh did not write preface to his novel and returned manuscript after many  months,making Dhir feel very bitter.  Both belonged to same party-CPI and Dhir was not a lesser writer in any manner, rather his status in Punjabi was and is quite high. Perhaps Dhir himself also phoned Naamvar Singh many times, this happened about three years ago.I myself was feeling embarrassed, but could do nothing, tried to persuade Naamvarji,but without any hope. Naamvar ji patronized Gurdial Singh in Punjabi,a significant writer, but Dhir was much senior to him and also realist writer of downtrodden like Gurdial Singh. Naamvar Singh wrote preface to my Hindi translation of Paash,but that was because of Shiela Sandhu, owner of Rajkamal publishers,not because of me or Paash. T.R.Vinod, Punjabi critic, who also passed away recently in Bathinda was equally unhappy with Namvar Singh, as he was turned down from the doortsteps of  Namvar Singh house in JNU long ago without entertaining him to any discourse, though he came with great hopes to talk to him on literary issues.I was then a student and accompanied Vinod, who also belonged to CPI stream of progressive writers. Both Dhir and Vinod have now passed away,but remained anguished at Namvar Singh’s conduct towards them.

Whenever I met Dhir, we were quite happy to exchange pleasantries.Perhaps we both got awarded by Language Deptt. Punjab in same function by Shiromani awards and I cherish my association,though not very deep,with Santokh Singh Dhir and salute his memory from the core of my heart.

On Prof. J.S.Rahi and T.R.Vinod

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Punjabi literature lost two of its eminent literary critics within a span of two weeks.First Prof. Joginder Singh Rahi passed away and then recently Prof. T.R.Vinod at Bathinda.I had more than three decade association with them. Prof. Rahi was my senior colleague in Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar,where I taught for two years.Tarsem Raj Vinod belonged to my area-Malwa.He came from Barnala,but settled at Bathinda, from where he retired as Professor of Punjabi in regional centre of Punjabi University Patiala.In a way, he was also my colleague as I taught at main campus of Punjabi University Patiala. Tarsem Raj Vinod started his career as Hindi Teacher in school and with his self study rose up to Professor in University and became one of important literary critics of Punjabi.Prof. Rahi perhaps had army background before joining academics.Both were known as fiction rather novel critics.Both upheld realism in literature.Gurdial Singh was the favourite novelist of both the critics.Prof. Vinod subscribed to Marxist tradition and Prof. Rahi was close to this tradition. I met Prof. Rahi during Bhagat Singh centenary, when I went to Khalsa College for women Amritsar to deliver a lecture,He was there and we spent some hours together.He was pleasant personality and settled at Amritsar after his retirement from Guru Nanak Dev University there. Prof. Harbhajan Singh Bhatia from GNDU Amritsar wrote a touching piece in Punjabi Tribune after his demise.In this photo Prof. Rahi is seated between me and Punjabi poet Dr. Manmohan at Khals College for women Amritsar on 18th October 2008

Hectic Week of Culture and Books

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In a hectic week of moving a lot, attended whole night play festival at Desh Bhagat Yadgar Hall Jalndhar on 25th night-26th early morning.Event was organised by Punjab Lok Sabhiachar Manch, whose Vice President once I remained, while teaching at Punjabi University Patiala. Playwright Gursharn Singh invited me there,but could not himself come, due to poor health, he is on wheel chair these days. This night was dedicated to Habib Tanvir, whose play ‘Charn Das Chor’ was also staged. Another important production, I saw , was Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle’s Punjabi-Hindostani mixed adptation by Hansa Singh”s group. I was invited to speak during midnight and I underlined the need to hold Indo-Pak joint play festivals in Jalandhar and Lahore both.It was quite cold night and took early morning Shatabadi to Delhi, which got delayed by three hours due to fog. In a way it was good, as Delhi roads were  blocked till noon,  due to Republic day parade.On 28th evening saw Ghalib-e-Azam, Urdu play written by Charan Das Sidhu, known for his Punjabi play on Shaheed Bhagat Singh and directed by Ravi Taneja.It was Punjabised Ghalib, bit louder,but good production.On 29th attended meeting in memory of Gorakh Pandey, progressive Hindi-Bhojpuri poet and scholar,who was my hostel mate in Periyar hostel of JNU.He was an radical activist,who committed suicide on 29th January in 1989.My memoir of him was published in Hindi journal ‘aalochna’,later included in my book.I was the main speaker in this memorial meeting and I spoke with some passion.

On 30th January went for inaugural function of World Book Fair in Pragati Maidan and later saw ‘Unsuni Awazen’ based on Harsh Mandar’s real stories, scripted by Mallika Sarabhai and directed by Arvind Gaur. I watched three out of five episodes, as I had to reach for dinner at a Pakistan diplomat .Play was impressive focussing upon adivasis and scavenger’s plight in Indian society.Shilpi Marwaha was impressive in the role of Narayani Amma. In the meantime Lyallpur delegation has reached Delhi and hecticly arranged JNU Indo-Pak peace meet, which incidentally proved to be quite impressive.

Wanted to go for Book Fair, which I could make only on 5th and 6th ,almost at the fag end. While Book Fair is a place to meet lot many friends coming from the different parts of the country, so met Tejinder,my favorite Hindi novelist, Karmendu Shishir from Patna, Virender Yadav from Lucknow, Poet Katyayni and Shashi Prakash,of Janchetna and many more. On 6th released two books-One of Noor Zaheer’s short stories collection-Ret Par Khoon at Medha stall,appreciated Noor for continuing her parents-Sajjad and Razia Sajjad Zaheer tradition of creative writing,she has many novels,short stories,travelogues,memoirs in Hindi and English both till now. The other book I released was, Mithileshwar’s award winning story collection at Inderprasath stall.In Book Fair visited Pakistan stalls,three on display and one empty with title on display. Iqbal academy brought Hindi edition of Iqbal poetry for free distribution, as they brought in 2008 too, when I collected some twenty copies and distributed to friends.

This day also wanted to see another play of Arvind Gaur-Gandhi and Ambedkar,but got delayed in Book Fair,so could not make to it. But this night, post dinner meeting organised by United Dalit student Front(UDSF) in Periyar hostel proved to be  thought provoking. Shiv Kumar from Delhi University, Ramchand ,my colleague in JNU and myself spoke on Sant Ravidas.Umakant, a Dalit activist also made good intervention during discussion. Dalit students were very enthused participants in debate,whereas in JNU these days, ther is little discussion on left students platform.I appreciated this critical perception of debate,which continued past twelve.

First two photos are of Jalandhar, third of Ghalib-e-Azam,fourth of Lal Qila and others of  Book Fair in Delhi are being pasted with this brief description.Children enjoyed a lot in Book fair,one photo is of children performances.

Read some important stories in The Hindu and The Tribune with my comments

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http://www.hindu.com/2010/02/03/stories/2010020354680900.htm

http://www.hindu.com/2010/02/03/stories/2010020354630801.htm

Read Trilochan Singh’s letter and decide whether Shahrukh Khan’s family is patriotic or hate mongrer Thackery family

http://www.hindu.com/2010/02/02/stories/2010020259400800.htm

Read this thought provoking piece. Are policy planners of India listening(Or reading)?

Chaman Lal

Chaman Lal http://www.hindu.com/2010/02/03/stories/2010020354630802.htm

‘ I am in total agreement with Sidharth Varadrajan’s observation in The Hindu lead article on edit page dated Feb. 2,2010 that ‘Absence of dialogue(with Pakistan) is hurting India’.Just want to underline some basic facts:
1.India-Pakistan relations were moving in relaxed conditions,when Mumbai terror attack not only killed hundreds innocent persons,but the relaxed dialogue conditions as well.
2.It is a fact that Pakistan is bigger sufferer of terror attacks than India.This is also a fact that terror machinery got into existence courtesy Pakistan’s own policies,particularly of Zia-ul-Haque regime,but as Indian establishment tasted the fruits of its own creation of Khalistani terror machine and then finished it off brutally,same way Pakistani establishment after ‘tasting the fruits’ of its created terror machine is now trying to finish it, though some sections in India doubt its sincerity.
3.If Pakistani terror machine survives and thrives back, no one can guarrantee India’s own security,Pakistan,USA or UNO,any number of threats from Indian Govt. to Pakistan Govt. would not help, as Pakistan itself would not be able to survive from teror machine.
4.The ruling party professing Gandhi and Nehru name every second, sould for once use Gandhian compassion towards Pakistan as younger brother,separated from larger family and accept bigger share of suffering and offer larger share of help to it to win its war against terror machine,which is threatening its existence like gennie out of its own bottle.Indian establishment should also for once follow Nehruvian statesmanship in pursuing dialogue and negotioations rather than pursuing short term narrow political games, which hurt Indian nation in the long run, rightly observed by Sidharth Varadrajan in its write up title’
Can’t say space would allow this comment to be published, yet for sharing with you all at least.
Regards
Chaman Lal.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2010/20100203/punjab.htm#5

Indo-Pak Peace Discussion in JNU,New Delhi

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Stress on Indo-Pak peace process continuation

Pakistan India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) has stressed upon the continuation of peace process between India and Pakistan. This view emerged from a discussion organized in Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi, in which representatives from both India and Pakistan participated. Three member PIPFPD delegation from Faisalabad (Lyallpur-birth place of Bhagat Singh) district of Pakistan, who has come to visit Lala Lajpat Rai’s birth place Dhudhike in Punjab took part in this discussion along with Tapan Bose, General secretary of PIPFPD (India). Discussion chaired by former Vice Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University Prof. G.K.Chadha emphasized upon the absolute unsustainability of war among two nations.

Chaudhary Zafar Iqbal, President of Lyallpur chapter of PIPFPD, said that there is no problem in the world, which cannot be resolved through dialogue and negotiations and India and Pakistan being so culturally close to each other, dialogue is the only way to resolve matters. He underscored the need to increase trade for the benefit of people on both sides. Tapan Bose said that some people in India are still not reconciled with the creation of Pakistan as independent nation state, which creates suspicion among Pakistan people, which are happy with the creation of new nation as Pakistan in 1947. He emphasized upon resolving all outstanding issues between two countries, including Kashmir issue in truly democratic manner through negotiations. Azar Mehmood, bureau chief of Duniya TV in Pakistan and labor party activist wished to see India and Pakistan live in peace and also recited Fiaz Ahmad Faiz’s poem. Earlier at the beginning of programme, Prof. Chaman Lal,Chairperson, Centre of Indian Languages,JNU and organizer of the function on behalf of PIPFPD, recited Amrita Pritam’s famous poem on partition-Aj Aakhan waris Shah nu…He also spoke about the need to hold such meetings more frequently to enlarge support for peace process between two countries, which has got affected due to Mumbai terror attack. Prof. Chaman Lal presented set of books including his own books in Punjabi and English and poster on Bhagat Singh to Chaudhary Zafar Iqbal, for placing these in Bhagat Singh’s birth village Chak No. 105 and in the library of Faislabad University.

Women and Child rights activist Tahir Iqbal recited his poems on the occasion. Prof. G.K.Chadha in his presiding remarks underlined the exceptional hospitality and warmth of Pakistani people towards visiting Indians. As an economist he opined that the idea of war among two nations is absolutely unthinkable and a stage will come when finance depts. of both countries will refuse to sanction any fund for war exercises, so the best course for economic development of two countries is to have peace and friendship with each other. Prof. Chadha was moved so much that he penned a poem spontaneously in praise of peace and friendship between two nations and shared with the audience. Brief discussion followed, in which writer Noor Zaheer spoke to protect the interests of workers of both countries from international ‘labor shoppers’. Prof. Sankar Basu, Dean SLL&CS, JNU, Noor Zaheer, Sumit Chakrvrati(Editor-‘Mainstream’) S.Irfan Habib and Vijay Partap and many other writers and scholars were present to lend support to peace efforts.