Magazine article New Internationalist

Posting for Peace

Magazine article New Internationalist

Posting for Peace

Article excerpt

After travelling to Pakistan for a conference for young parliamentarians, Divya Spandana, a former Indian legislator, was charged with sedition. Her 'crime' was to publicly praise the hospitality of Pakistanis, and say that the country was 'not hell'.

The charge comes in a year that has been particularly tense for India and Pakistan. With terror attacks on Indian army camps and months of protests in the contested region of Kashmir, war rhetoric has soared between the neighbouring countries - both of which possess nuclear weapons.

But in this increasingly jingoistic climate there is a growing number of citizens who dare to call for a peaceful solution. Ram Subramanian, a Mumbai resident and art-activist, became a poster-boy for peace overnight after posting a photo of himself on Facebook holding a sign that read 'I am an Indian. I don't hate Pakistan. I am not alone. There are many people like me!'

His hashtag, #ProfileforPeace, went viral, inspiring two million people, in both countries, to post profile photos holding up similar signs. …

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