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April 23, 2005



John!! I'm sure you've thought of this, but you couldn't be in a better Indian state to grow your peace circle.

Thanks to Indicorps Fellow Roshni, I have been reading Zakaria's book called Communal Rage in Secular India. Go get it at Crosswords.

Reading Roshni's lend, it struck me how you and Mark are ideally positioned to flood Ahmedabad with a campaign of peace (again I'm probably re-preaching...).

I think you should get a hold of Malika Sarabhai, of prominent and progressive Sarabhai family (credited for much of Abad's progress) who runs the Darpana Dance academy and was one Gujarati who actually voiced against the horrible riots that plagued Abad after the Godra event.

(There was a beautifully telling Gujarati play I saw at Darpana. I am sure it was not allowed to be shown elsewhere, but you can see it somewhere. The title was something like: Bhai, Ahiya Chokas Ahmedbad Hatu. Takes place 20yrs in the future where Abad is being excavated.)

Here is event to aim for: Every year, for the last few years, Communal Harmony Day is celebrated in Ahmedabad (see clip below) on July 1. ...who knows, maybe you and Mark are reincarnations of Rajab and Vasant.

One other request: I am SURE that you must be working in the Muslim sectors as well. Please tell us more about how their lives are lived after the riots 3 yrs ago.

"On July 1st, ANHAD celebrated COMMUNAL HARMONY DAY to commemorate the martydom of Vasant Rav and Rajab Ali. (On the evening of July 1st 1946, two friends Vasant Rav and Rajab Ali received information of communal tension and heard of houses and shops being burnt in Jamalpur. They decided to go and try to prevent the senseless violence. They were both killed while trying to maintain peace). The programme for the day included “Umbrellas for Peace”, “Posters for Peace” , “Exhibition”, “Poetry”, and other performances by the famed “Mrigya” group, Shubha Mudgal, Aditi Mangaldas and other. "


Great info, Dipti. Thanks. Communal harmony is definitely something we are focused on as well. We have some info and ideas, but we're still in need of a little more clarity. One promising thing is that Rahul is talking about doing a PSA documentary series on this subject. Am hoping to work with him on this.


A PSA (assuming it means public serive announcement?) series sounds great!

Though I am wondering whether the masses have TVs. And it seems that the areas that get hit hardest during the riots are the poorer masses in the old city. Do most homes there have TVs?

Maybe doing a Peace promotion on the walls, like the underwear and bollywood commercials on the tunnel road walls would be seen more...though again how many from the old city go there?

What is the main form of communication in the old city? ...I remember radio being popular...looking forward to your glimpses of the old city and Muslim neighborhoods.

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