Can newspapers bring peace between India, Pak?

At a time when cynicism about the media is at an all-time high, and when war-mongering has become an almost daily routine for media in India and Pakistan, media behemoths in the two countries have taken a small but welcome step on the first day of the new year to reduce the sabre-rattling.

While most newspapers were content with dishing out the predictable January 1 stuff, The Times of India has embarked on a “brave, new people-to-people initiative” in association with Pakistan’s No.1 media house, the Jang Group, to bring the people of the two nations together.

Titled Aman ki Asha, ToI has a provocative, almost unthinkable, headline on its wraparound: “Love Pakistan”.

Seminars, cultural interactions, business seminars, music and literary festivals and citizens meets are on the anvil “to give the bonds of humanity  a chance to survive outside the battlefields of politics, terrorism and fundamentalism.”

The Times of India‘s editor Jaideep Bose writes:

“We believe the media can serve as facilitators in fostering greater understanding between people. Unfortunately — and TOI cannot entirely escape blame — we tend to focus far too much on the negative. In the process, the good that people do is drowned out by the sensational, and by the constant flow of deathand-destruction headlines.”

Gibran Peshimam writes on the Geo TV site:

Aman ki Asha will look to inject impetus into the Indo-Pak dialogue in a manner that is unparalleled, on a scale that is unprecedented.”

Visit the Times microsite: Aman ki Asha

Visit the Jang microsite: Aman ki Asha

Also read: The Times of India discovers peace