First there were the comments on our blog post, which started off as a fair enough critique of the language and sins of omission of the joint editorial, until they descended into the usual "Hindi title, Indian poet" crapola. (Surprisingly, no one's actually yet commented on how the Urdu word 'Amn' has been transliterated into it's Punjabi equivalent 'Aman'.)
But how could Madame Mazari be far behind. Here's The Nation's editorial in today's paper, directly attacking the project (getting back at The News running Arif Nizami's columns perhaps?). I thought I might as well reproduce it in full below, for your reading convenience of course..
A farcical peace
Published: January 2, 2010
ONCE more a new propaganda offensive has been launched by segments of Indian civil society, including its media, in the shape of a "hope for peace". That it is propaganda is evident from the fact that it has come at a time when the Indian military is sending threatening messages to Pakistan with its new war strategies. Bolstering this renewed hostility, the Indian Home Minister Chidambaram has launched a vitriolic tirade against Pakistan and its so-called "terror structure". Ironically, this vitriol has come when the whole Kasab case is unravelling. Even worse, this "peace" offensive is designed once again to sidestep the real conflicts of Kashmir, water and arms build-ups by the Indians along the Pakistan border. By recalling the Sufi and other poets of the subcontinent, the effort is to divert people from these very real political issues without which there can actually be no real peace and stability in this region. It is interesting to note also that while all the major poets of the subcontinent have been recalled in the "peace" context, Iqbal, who is linked closely with the idea of a Muslim homeland that came to be Pakistan, has been ignored. Surely such an omission could hardly be accidental?
That some in Pakistan have joined this new propaganda offensive is not surprising given the genuine desire for peace within Pakistan. Unfortunately, these Pakistanis need to take their blinkers off and see the reality of the Indian position. There is no myth about India's continuing hostility towards Pakistan - at least amongst its leadership. Unless the mindset of the ruling elite in India alters there can be no lasting peace because the present leadership is carrying on in the tradition of earlier Indian rulers who have sought to evade conflict resolution and focus on conflict management. Perhaps it would serve a more useful purpose if the Indian civil society and media that seek peace were to first seek to alter their ruling elite's mindset so that occupation of Kashmir can end and India can learn to abide by the Indus Waters Treaty. There is also India's backtracking on the Siachin draft agreement of 1989. Perhaps the Indian "peace" activists can influence their state to stopping its aid and arms flows to militants in Pakistan.
Ooh, looks like things are just heating up. Zaid Hamid can't be far behind.