CONVERSATIONS-4: It’s about time

Published in The News on Sunday Aman ki Asha page, Political Economy section, on March 14, 2010

Conversations 4: It’s about time

Dilip D’Souza and Beena Sarwar continue their correspondence, attempting to share thoughts honestly, without fear and hostility, exploring what divides our countries, and seeking ways to bridge the divide

March 11, 2010

Dear Beena,

Again, so much to address! But since I asked what annoys you about Indians, and since you answered so frankly, let me make that the theme for this installment of our exchange, and in two ways.

First, your beef is with “the hard-nosed nationalism and sense of superiority of many Indians, the refusal to introspect and see flaws within their own society.” Personally, I’m bothered too by this reluctance to see flaws, by the sense of almost manifest destiny and even entitlement that a lot of us Indians nurse. Continue reading

CONVERSATIONS-3: Let’s introspect

Printed in the aman ki asha page of Political Economy, The News on Sunday, March 7, 2010

Dilip D’Souza and Beena Sarwar continue their email exchange, attempting to share thoughts honestly, without fear and hostility, seeking ways to bridge the gulf between Pakistan and India

Mar 2 2010

Dear Beena,

Since we’ve started on this path of exploring the anti-the-other-country feelings, let’s take it a little further and see where it goes.

First, you draw a distinction between the (sometimes) elected Pakistani governments and what you call the “establishment” – the army/bureaucracy nexus, if you will. Nawaz Sharif was, you tell us, pro-India, but this establishment undermined his government’s efforts in that direction. Continue reading

Conversations-2: Let’s keep it going

Our second installment of Conversations, below – published in the Political Economy section of The News on Sunday’s Feb 27 edition, Aman ki Asha page, which also includes:

– ‘The Price of Peace‘ by Waqar Gillani on visa hurdles for peace activists

– ‘The MEPIC dimensions‘ by Rafey Mehmood, about a study center established by SZABIST (Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology) focusing on the Mid East Pakistan India and China.

Below: Dilip D’Souza and Beena Sarwar continue their correspondence from last week, attempting to share thoughts honestly, without fear and hostility, exploring what divides our countries, and seeking ways to bridge the divide

Feb 23 2010

Dear Beena,

That was a good start, thank you. While I know that terrorism continues unabated in Pakistan, I had no idea of the numbers you quoted to me. 8000 civilians and 3000 security personnel killed in seven years, is a tragic, horrifying toll. I think more of us in India need to comprehend the magnitude of what’s happening today in Pakistan.

There’s plenty in your letter that I’d like to discuss. But for now, I’d like to focus on one theme you brought up. Continue reading

CONVERSATIONS: Peace is hard work

Published in The News on Sunday, Political Economy section, aman ki asha page, Feb 21, 2010

CONVERSATIONS

Peace is hard work

A Pakistani and an Indian begin an email exchange, attempting to share their thoughts honestly, without fear and hostility, exploring what divides our countries, and seeking ways to bridge the divide

By Dilip D’Souza and Beena Sarwar

February 16 2010

Dear Beena,

I started writing this before Pune. When I heard about those 11 more senseless deaths, I decided to rewrite it. I want to start by saying how difficult horrors like this make it to remain committed to the idea of peace, of speaking the language of reason. Here’s the bottom line: most Indians believe that this latest attack, like previous attacks, was conceived in Pakistan. Continue reading

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