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Naïve Realism: The Psychology of Conflict

“Muslim or Hindu?”, asked my driver, Aamaal, just moments into our undulating 5-hour journey through the Himalayan foothills from Dharamsala to Amritsar. So close to the conflict-ridden Kashmir, a region symbolizing the religious and national tensions between India and Pakistan, it seemed an important, if not routine question. Noting the crescent-shaped moon flag wedged between the back passenger seats, I misleadingly explained, in broken Hindi, that I come from a Muslim family. It was c...

Written by Tej Parikh and published on 20-June-2017

Mohtaat Atiyaat - Promoting Safer Charity Practices

Pakistani households are generous to the tunes of billions, yet nearly a third are still poor Pakistan has a strong culture of giving. According to the study on the State of Individual Philanthropy in Pakistan "nearly 98 percent of households reporting giving for various social causes in one form or the other (cash, in-kind, or time volunteer...

Written by Fatima Jaffery and published on 05-May-2017

Kya Dilli Kya Lahore

The conflict between India and Pakistan has been the subject of many popular movies in Hindi cinema (Bollywood). Both in India and Pakistan, the mainstream movies' discourse is based on the construction of hatred for the 'other', so as to glorify patriotism and add a sense of national superiority. Few movies have dealt with the human side of this cross-border conflict that has been raging on since 1947. It’s for this reason that

Written by Nidhi Shendurnikar and published on 22-March-2017

A Match Made in Heaven Across the India-Pakistan Border

When I first learned about Sonal Singh Rathore, I thought it was quite unusual for a Pakistani, Hindu woman, to be married to an Indian from Baroda. Only when I got to meet and talk to Sonal at her residence in Baroda, a town in the western Indian state of Gujarat, was I surprised to discover a tradition of cross-border marriages that is so commonly practiced among the Sodha community in Pakistan. Despite hostilitie...

Written by Dr. Nidhi Shendurnikar and published on 30-April-2016

The Everyday Indian Meets the Everyday Pakistani

A team of youngsters from India and Pakistan, motivated by values of reformation, rehabilitation, and reconciliation have joined hands to promote a cultural, social, and creative exchange of ideas among young people in the two countries. The Indo-Pak Lighthouse Project is a pioneering initiative led by young people from India and Pakistan. They strive to bring down animosities and misconceptions rampant in...

Written by Dr. Nidhi Shendurnikar and published on 02-March-2016

Indians and Pakistanis Cement Friendship through Peace Building Course

Although it may be hard to believe, the sight of Indians and Pakistanis talking to each other is not at all unusual. Despite the barbed wires that separate people of the two ‘enemy’ nations, one finds Indians and Pakistanis connecting beyond physical and mental barriers. With the help of virtual technologies, it is no longer an uphill task to connect with someone from across the border. While one-off interactions are quite common, an Indo-Pak peace building initiative recently introduced...

Written by Nidhi Shendurnikar-Tere and published on 16-October-2015

Military Courts: An Unusual Dilemma

After the Peshawar school carnage of December 2014, Pakistan’s leadership established military courts throughout the country to deal explicitly with terrorists. The decision came after the National Assembly deliberated and adopted the 21st Constitutional Amendment Bill and the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bil...

Written by Hussain Shorish and published on 25-September-2015

Media Without Border

India and Pakistan have a film industry which is known as Bollywood and Lollywood respectively. Many famous stars with Pakistani roots have made their way to the Bollywood cinema. Film industry legends such as Dilip Kumar, Sunil Dutt, Rajesh Kapoor,

Written by Fatima Jaffery and published on 13-September-2015

When Indians and Pakistanis Talk...

When Indians and Pakistanis talk to each other... A pioneering initiative of The Red Elephant Foundation (Chennai, India), The Building Peace Project (2014-15), in its first season was weaved around an unflinching belief in the power of citizen driven interactions through new media technology. Young people from conflict zones can come together on a shared platform to talk to each other. Nine pairs of Indians and Pakistanis undertook a year long journey of exchange, interaction, collabora...

Written by Nidhi Shendurnikar-Tere and published on 18-July-2015

My Soul Sister From Across the Border

It is rare to meet in one’s lifetime a person with whom you can connect intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. It is even more difficult when the country to which they belong is an ‘enemy’ of your country! However, I was lucky enough to find my soul sister and would like to share such a phenomenal story with Beyond Violence readers. It was early 2014 and I was a participant in the

Written by Nidhi Shendurnikar-Tere and published on 21-May-2015

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