|Screenshot from the AIB Video|
In this video strangers from India and Pakistan speak to each other over the phone. They talk about what Indians and Pakistanis perceive about each other, learn about their personal lives and hobbies, find common grounds between themselves and congratulate each other on the Independence Day of both the countries.
The bad blood between India and Pakistan dates back to 1947, when the British partitioned India into the Dominion of Pakistan (later Islamic Republic of Pakistan and People's Republic of Bangladesh) and the Union of India (later Republic of India) primarily along religious lines, to stem growing tensions between the Hindu and Muslim communities. The divide devastated both countries, and their relationship to date is often strained, marred by wars, border disputes, military stand-offs and a continuing conflict over Kashmir.
If you still are wondering why such effort is necessary to reduce the notion of animosity between citizens of both the countries, then just gloss over the YouTube comments on the above video.
Indian blogger Farzana Versey offered her nuanced reaction to the video:
Will this bring people on both sides (we are not even speaking about the two nations) closer together? This was a ‘controlled’ atmosphere, and even if comments were not censored it was understood that the conversation was to be light. What we see is one reality – the coffee shop or corner store one. The young even on campuses are politically aware and most certainly come with a bagful of stereotypes about the other. It does not negate the awareness about Bollywood, cricket, or food. Yet, all of these can be politicised on the day there is a clash of films, a match or a culinary competition.She also provided her verdict:
Love it…just don’t take it as the whole truth.The post was also published in Global Voices Online.