Joint Independence Day Celebrations in San Francisco Bay Area
By A.H. Cemendtaur

Glimpses of the joint Independence Day celebrations in San Francisco Bay Area

What does peace in South Asia sound like? In the Bay Area, it would be a band consisting of people of Indian descent singing Pakistani songs. And a concert held on August 28 at Berkeley's International House to celebrate the independence of South Asian countries from their British colonizers was just such an occasion.
Antariksh, a local band of very talented musicians, sang popular songs from both countries. The program was arranged by the Friends of South Asia (FOSA) and AID (Association for India's Development).
Being an organization of Indian and Pakistani activists working for peace in their region, FOSA organized the program to share its dream of a peaceful South Asia with fellow community members. The proselytizing part came in shape of a brief video comprising of clips from the recent Peace March from Delhi to Multan, which was shown in the middle of the concert. The footage was shot by Sanat Mohanty, a US-based participant of the march.
One wonders why an important event like a peace march from India to Pakistan went without a production of a quality film being made around it. In this day and age, when an activist organization's major outreach to the outside world is not through the participants that attend an event but through the media coverage the event gets, it seems an imperative that the activists invest more energies in that aspect of the program.
The news of the Delhi-Multan peace march had captivated peace activists on both sides of the border. Imagine the lasting impact the walk could have if a quality documentary had come out of it. Imagine the film being screened at schools in India and Pakistan and the invaluable effect it could have in winning minds and converting people. Events last for a short while but their memory, in the shape of news, audio and video coverage, lives forever -- if efforts have been made in such archives.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
2004 . All Rights Reserved.