Though the recent deaths of long-time prisoners Sarabjit Singh and Sanaullah Ranjay have sparked debates, each heart silently prays for peace between the two nations.
When recently, short film Caravan of Peace and Love by Indu Bala Singh won the first prize at the 6th Filmsaaz (an international film festival organised by General Educational Centre Aligarh Muslim University) it strengthened our belief of desiring nothing but peace.
This 40-minute short film was directed by Indu Bala Singh, associate professor of English literature at Government College, Sector 46, Chandigarh. Her husband, retired IAS officer Satinder Pal Singh, who is currently serving as the state information commissioner, Punjab, has produced the film, besides looking after its narration, scripting and sub-titling.
Talking about the journey that led to the film, Bala says, “In 2009, we were invited to the Saanjh Peace Festival, which takes place at Preetnagar, near Amritsar, and is attended by artistes from India and Pakistan; that’s where the idea was conceived. So, I hired a cameraman and got down to it.
Later, in 2011, the remaining part of the film was shot at the candle light vigil at Wagah border. The narrative of the film starts with the candle light vigil held at Wagah border on the midnight of August 14 and 15. This has been in practice since 1998 by people from both sides. The ritual has now turned into an event with seminars and talks being held at the venue.”
The film includes various interviews of veteran Indian journalist Kuldip Nayar, theatre person MK Raina, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, Aitzaz Ahsan, Madan Gopal Singh, UNESCO goodwill ambassador late Madanjeet Singh, Madheeha Gauhar, Barkat Ali (Karachi), Uma Gurbakshi, Usman Peerjada, Bhai Chans and Sai Zaroor.
“From Pakistani artistes and eminent theatre personalities to film critics — it has bytes from eminent people who are talking about peaceful relationships. They all agree on the fact that war is not the answer. Everyone believes that even after the division, the only option we are left with is peace. Thus, the film is a quest for peace.”
“Thanks to my 28 years of teaching experience, I wanted to make the film for the youth, with the aim of leaving them with a question: Are we ever going to live in peace? It tells them about love and peace through stories and anecdotes shared by eminent personalities.
It’s high time we forget animosity and leave aside patriotic jingoism. The film has been screened at Punjabi University’s Film Festival (March 2012), Sikh Lens Film Festival at Los Angles, California (November 2012) and has also bagged the first prize at Soch Media Festival, Panjab University,” says Bala.