Check out any social media page related to India or Pakistan today, and chances are that you will find many comments that do nothing but spread hatred between the two nations.
In a time like this, it is up to the users to realise the power of social media, and understand how it can be used for a better purpose instead. Fortunately, there are some people who are already doing so. Among the thousands of those who spread hatred on such pages, there are also a few who are out there to spread love and bridge the gap between the two countries.
Mumbai-based artist, Ram Subramanian, is one of those people. He started a social media campaign called #ProfileforPeace to show the world that he is not alone in being an Indian who does not hate Pakistan.
The simple campaign required people from India and Pakistan to change their profile pictures on social media to one in which they have a little note that informs where they are from, and says that they don’t hate the other country, but are only being divided because of hate politics.
Soon after the launch of this campaign, hundreds of citizens from India and Pakistan took to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to extend their support through their love notes and new display pictures. The campaign went viral and even Indians and Pakistanis living in the US, UK and UAE, became a part of it.
The 36-year-old artist started the campaign after the recent incidents when Shiv Sena tried to ban Pakistani artists and writers in Mumbai.
Earlier this month, organisers of a concert by Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali had to cancel the event after Shiv Sena threatened them saying that they would face poor consequences if they went ahead with the performance. The next day, organisers in Pune had to cancel his event too.
The hatred did not just end there. A few days later, Sena members tried to stop the launch of a book written by ex-Pakistan foreign minister, Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri. For this, they threw black ink on the face of the organiser, Sudheendra Kulkarni. However, the attack did not stop Kulkarni from going ahead, and he continued with the launch as planned.
Thus on Dussehra night, Ram Subramanian decided to express his views through a selfie with a note which read, “I am an Indian. I am from Mumbai. I don’t hate Pakistan. I am not alone. There are many people like me!”
“This is the idea. 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,” he posted on Facebook.
As citizens of both the countries joined hands for a better cause, there was no looking back. Here are some amazing pictures from the campaign-