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Monday, January 11, 2010

Another Year: A Few Beginnings and an End

As I picked up the newspaper on the very first day of 2010, I was very pleased to read about 'Aman Ki Asha', an initiative of The Times of India & The Jang Group of Pakistan. It is difficult to predict as to how far it will actually go in terms of achievement of lasting peace between India and Pakistan. However, it definitely does denote progress in terms of the fact that it is for the first time that leading media houses from the neighbouring countries have joined hands in such a manner. If nothing else, at least some journalists from either side might make friends among their counterparts on the opposite side of the Indo-Pak border and work with greater conviction towards sowing the seeds of friendship in the hearts and minds of the general public. In any case, the contents of The Times of India over the past ten days have been rather interesting.

It is a case of the mainstream media treading in the footsteps of bloggers. Yours truly, for instance, has managed to make a few Pakistani friends in the past three years, largely through the medium of blogging.

The beginning of the year also brought some hope for justice for the victims of anti-Sikh riots of 1984, along with their co-religionists around the world, as the Central Bureau of Investigation (C.B.I.) was granted sanction to charge sheet Mr. Sajjan Kumar for 'spreading enmity between two communities'. It is certainly not the most serious crime that he is accused of, but the pending sanction was an impediment to the pursuit of the other charges.

The new year also marked the passing away of noted conservationist and author, Billy Arjan Singh. I had read one of his books a few years ago and was mighty impressed by his unorthodox approach towards the protection of wildlife, in particular, and life, in general.