My humble submission is to
consolidate messages and pack them so they are acceptable to the current mental set.
The respective governments
know very well that they cant go through the arms race perpetually.
Ever since the last decade of this
century had forced a major perceptual change, it has amply demonstrated that no amount of
weapons or military might could halt the already deteriorating social situation from
The myth of contrived security has
been broken yet the mindset created by military industrial complex lingers on.
There are lessons to be learnt from
the two armed conflicts between India and Pakistan . Instead, we distort history and worse
of all, we believe in it.
We cannot afford arms race, still
the demands of the so-called defence need continues. The emergence of Bangladesh should
have taught us the basic lessons in the track of democracy, justice and human rights. We
have repressed them three and I dare say successfully.
To my mind, there is one objective
which should be pursued and that is to convey to the people a few relevant messages which
relate to their needs and demands.
Sermons are known to be endured;
knowledge, changed attitude and call to reason does not arouse more people but arousing
Dr. Haroon Ahmeds topic was
"Parallel Contacts" with special emphasis on the mental set of the people of
these countries i.e. India and Pakistan. He began by defining a "mentally fit"
person. In terms of psychiatry, he/she is one who can take care of himself, his family
members and above all, abide and participate in civic and civil responsibilities. So in
support of the efficacy of such discussions he said that "such activity does not only
help the development of civil society but proves to promote the mental health of the
participants because the sense of collective-ness, belonging-ness reduces
Dr. Ahmed was of the view that both countries cannot
engage in the arms race perpetually and it was time that public opinion was built to help
the inert governments on both sides to take a bold initiative. He also spoke about the
mental set of the people of both the countries who perceive each other as enemies. This
mindset created by the on going arms conflict between the countries makes people on both
sides insensitive and inhumane. "People under this mindset are contemptuous of
democracy, insensitive to human rights and have their own brand of justice."
As to how to alter the negative thinking of the people
he proposed that a few relevant messages need to be conveyed to the people in an effective
and attractive manner. "The formula is concentrate knowledge, generate emotion for
behavioural change." In order to achieve this objective and bring about real change,
he advocated a greater use of the science of advertising, electronic media and modern
methods of communication. In this regard, he proposed that inter reaction between
"people who matter" can be brought about by two ways. Firstly, that people
should explore more avenues of people to people exchange through exchanges between
professional groups, cultural troupes etc. And, secondly, by arranging melas and moots
that give an opportunity to the common citizens of both the countries to understand each
other better. "Seminars may not touch the common man but melas and thelas do."