October 26th, 2015
#ProfileForPeace a social media campaign launched by Ram Subramanian for peace across Indo-Pak borders. It has gone viral overnight through media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The campaign is simple. Anybody who belongs to India or Pakistan, even an expat settled in other parts of the world, has to change his or her profile picture to one which has a note stating the place of domicile, and the profound message that irrespective of belonging to India or Pakistan, they do not hate each other.
They use black ink to assert this statement. Black ink itself is deeply symbolic here. It marks Subramanian’s philosophy that the colour black is not meant to smear the faces of liberals in either country in protest of their radical thoughts. We all remember that a few days back Shiv Sena members had targeted a book launch planned by Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri in Mumbai.
They had smeared the face of the organizer Sudheendra Kulkarni with black ink. The even went ahead as scheduled. The first group to respond from Pakistan was ChaiChalk, a social enterprise incubated at the privately run Lahore University of Management Sciences. They promote the literary heritage of Pakistan and they used the same hashtag as Subramanian with the message that they are proud Pakistanis and proud Muslims and yet love India.
“Seeing the campaign in India, we wanted to respond in an organised manner from the Pakistani side,” wrote Asad Shabbir, a founder of ChaiChalk. They also wanted to use black ink to promote peace and harmony as against extremism on either side of the border. Needless to say, Subramanian has attracted hate speeches by a number of Indians who are not only skeptical of the peace campaign but also actively want to spew hatred in our country.
Undaunted by that, the campaign has entered the second phase in which the students hold up placards, not pieces of paper, noticeably reused or recycled. We urge our community members who are in favour of this campaign to follow: Put up his/her photo holding up a note. It had the following caption.
“Do join in if you believe in peace being the way forward. Write this message on a post it note, take a selfie and make it your profile picture #ProfileForPeace. No more artists being banned. This is my voice. This is our voice for our Mumbai, our India. Enough of hate politics. #SpeakUp”