Mohali: Jiye sportsmanship; blogs & facebook buzz; Salman Ahmad’s dedication to both teams & nations

Mohali, Chandigarh: Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi and Indian captain M S Dhoni smile ahead of the opening ceremony

Posted to my yahoogroup earlier:
I don’t usually post articles that haven’t been published yet, but will make an exception for what I’ve written ahead of the ‘mother of all matches’ in Chandigarh on March 30, 2011. If you are not Indian or Pakistani and don’t follow cricket, this may mean nothing to you. If you are, it doesn’t need explaining. My two short pieces to be published in The News on Mar 30th (Mohali: let it be an ‘aman ka chakka’ andSomething happening in Mohali today?” Salman Ahmad, rocking to a cross-border beat – ‘tension leney ka nahi’), below for the weekly Aman ki Asha page.

But before that, a news flash: Aman ki Asha’s Milne Do campaign against visa restrictions for Indians and Pakistanis wanting to visit each other’s countries won Best Campaign award at the APNS awards ceremony last night.

Back to Mohali: My uncle Zawwar Hasan, a retired sports journalist, predicts India will win. My aunt says that all his predictions so far have been wrong, so the odds in favour of Pakistan winning are high 🙂 heh Read his lively commentary at his blog

My favourite placard from the 2004 series: "NO nuclear test, NO missile test, just TEST CRICKET"

Some blogs I came across that reflect the spirit we’d like to see prevail:
Cricket – An Opportunity For Peace Between India & Pakistan (Loud Thinking)
Boom Boom Cricket! (Mullah, Military & Media, by )
May the Best Side Win! (Silsila-e-Mah-o-Saal, by Sabahat24)

These blogs are from Pakistan, but it was two Indian journalists (Shivam Vij & Dilip D’Souza) who courageously started a facebook ‘event’ called Indians who want Pakistan to win the Mohali semi-final and vice-versa-. Not a very popular position, but incredibly, it gained over 100 ‘likes’ in one day. More popular on facebook, with over a 1500 likes already is Together We Shall Win started by two Indians and two Pakistanis, mentioned in my article below:

SHORT PIECE – 1
Mohali: let it be an ‘aman ka chakka’

Many, including Aman ki Asha, will cheer both sides, be happy for the winner Continue reading

Indian Peace Delegation meets Pakistan Prime Minister, policy makers and people in successful visit

PRESS STATEMENT

Indian Peace Delegation meets Pakistan Prime Minister, policy makers and people in successful visit

An Indian Peace Delegation visited Pakistan from March 17-25, 2011. During their stay they visited Karachi, Hyderabad, Islamabad and Lahore. They met Pakistan Prime Minister Mr. Yusuf Reza Gilani, Sindh Chief Minister Mr. Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Senators of various political parties, civil society activists, journalists, members of business community, and students amongst others. Continue reading

Personal Political: Faiz and ‘Anthems of Resistance’

Published in The News on Sunday yesterday: The power of ideas

Andy McCord responding to a question at the Faiz panel. Photo: Beena Sarwar


by Beena Sarwar

I am no great expert on Faiz but his poetry speaks to me, touches my heart just as much as it does every other liberal, progressive, secular-minded person I know. Perhaps his poetry, with its universal messages about truth and justice, sorrows and joys that are just simply human messages, also touches some hearts that are not progressive and secular.

There’s also a personal connection that was put in context last weekend at a discussion on Faiz at panel organised at the Left Forum (formerly the Socialist Scholars Conference that became an annual event starting in 1981). I was roped into moderating it after the original moderator David Barsamian, the well-known radio producer and journalist (and fluent Urdu speaker), couldn’t make it at the last minute. Continue reading

Indian peace delegation is back from Pakistan with a message of love & friendship

Their faces smudged with the colours of holi, Indian peace delegation wearing Sindhi ajraks address a gathering in Hyderabad. Photo: Piler, Karachi

PRESS STATEMENT: Indian peace delegation is back from Pakistan with a message of love & friendship

An Indian Peace Delegation visited Pakistan from 17th to 25th March 2011. During their stay they visited Karachi, Hyderabad, Islamabad and Lahore. They met Pakistan Prime Minister Mr. Yusuf Reza Gilani, Sindh Chief Minister Mr. Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Law makers of various political parties, civil society activists, journalists, members of business community,  students amongst others. The 12 member Indian delegation was led by Mr. Kuldip Nayar and included Mr. Mahesh Bhatt, Mr. Bhalchandra Mungekar, Mr. Shahid Siddiqui, Mr. Jatin Desai, Dr. Mazher Hussain, Ms. Kamla Bhasin, Mr. Ramesh Yadav, Mr.Sanjay Nahar, Mr. Haris Kidwai, Mr. Laxmi Prasad. Mr. Krishna Rao. Continue reading

Upcoming speaking engagements in the Boston area

Upcoming public events in the Boston area that I’m participating in:

Religion, Politics and the Rule of Law in South Asia”: Thursday, March 24, 2011 • 5:30 – 7:00 pm •  Carr Center Conference Room (Rubenstein Building, Floor 2, Room 219) • Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Cambridge, MA

Noam Chomsky and Beena Sarwar: Days of Hope and Challenge: Thursday, April 14, 2011 • 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm • Boston University Law Auditorium • 767 Commonwealth Ave. • followed by reception at Sherman Union Backcourt • Boston

Boston Cares: April Social Cinema program: Screening of the documentary Bhutto (chronicling the life of Benazir Bhutto) • followed by discussion • Independent Lens series hosted in partnership with ITVS Community Cinema and City Year • Tuesday, April 19, 2011 • 6:00-8:00PM • Lavine Civic Forum in the City Year Headquarter building • 287 Columbus Avenue, Boston, MA 02116

PERSONAL POLITICAL: Confessions of a tweet addict

My column Personal Political in Hardnews, India, written a couple of weeks ago. Was too caught up in event on the ground and forgot to post it. Still relevant.

Beena Sarwar

I admit it. I’m addicted to twitter.

Like many others, the first time I heard about this ‘social networking tool’, my initial response was, “What’s the point?”

It was in spring 2006, at the end of a journalism fellowship in the USA. “Try it,” urged Jeb Sharp, a radio journalist. “It’s cool. You can update friends about what you’re thinking or doing and you have to do it in 140 characters or less.”

Out of curiosity, I made myself a twitter account. The whole thing seemed a bit silly. The twitter icon is a little blue bird. The messages you post are called ‘tweets’. It all sounds very fluffy and twittery. And why create a twitter account if you have facebook? Continue reading

Reference for Shahbaz Bhatti, Mar 20, 5.00 pm, Karachi


Citizens for Democracy

Reference for Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti
Date: 20th March, 2011
Time: 5:00 PM
Venue: Karachi Press Club

Shahbaz Bhatti was a man who ascribed to the vision of Jinnah, and was a strong believer of pluralism, freedom of religion and rule of law. With a few other citizens and government leaders, he founded the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA), and was unanimously elected to lead this nationwide coalition of minority representatives and NGOs. Continue reading

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