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Sunday, 20 September 2015

Mention of Kartarpur Corridor in the Journal of Religion, Conflict and Peace

Mention of   Kartarpur Corridor   in the Journal of Religion, Conflict and Peace

Dear readers, slowly, now the global community has started realizing  the great potential of Kartarpur Sahib Corridor. The corridor has now figured in the Journal of Religion, Conflict, and Peace.

Journal of Religion, Conflict, and Peace is a publication of Plowshares: a peace studies collaborative of Earlham, Goshen, and Manchester Colleges.  The journal addresses both the problem of religion and conflict and the possibility and practices of peace, giving particular attention to peace.  As a contribution to addressing this great need, the Plowshares Collaborative established an online scholarly journal dedicated to the themes of religion, conflict, and peace. It is marked by the following features.*

    While JRC&P will address both the problem of religion and conflict and the possibility and practices of peace, we will whenever possible give particular attention to peace.
    JRC&P will interpret its themes broadly, publishing work on everything from interpersonal relationships to international politics.
    JRC&P will draw from any discipline or combination of disciplines that can illuminate its central concerns.
    While JRC&P's first audience will be scholars, we intend that it will be relevant and accessible to peace practitioners and anyone else concerned about these themes.
    JRC&P will be shaped by, but not confined to, the perspectives of the three historic peace churches-Society of Friends, Church of the Brethren, and the Mennonite Church-associated with the colleges that compose the Plowshares Collaborative.

Published twice yearly, the journal is an open access, online publication.

Rita Kiki Edozie of Michigan State University has commented on the  work our dear Mr. Tridevish Singh Maini. Please read the following:-
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South Asian Cooperation and the Role of the Punjabs. Tridivesh Singh Maini. New Delhi: Siddharth Publications , 2007

South Asian Cooperation and the Role of the Punjabs is a book that approaches the topic of conflict resolution with a difference. Trividesh Singh Maini’s book does not approach peaceful cooperation from the normative security framework. Nor, for that matter, does the author take the increasingly emergent economic approach to conflict resolution despite the fact that the book’s content deals with the subject of regional cooperation. Alternatively, Maini’s book helps its reader understand the dynamics of cooperation and peace among members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation or SAARC (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan and the island nations of Sri Lanka and Maldives) by presenting a cultural analysis.

            This use of culture is persuasive. The author posits himself and his book as scholarship that thinks outside the bureaucratic box of normal research on South Asia with its vested interests in the region to reveal the “emotional” trajectory of cooperation that is occurring in this region. Using culture to support his thesis, Maini illustrates for the reader various cultural exchanges between two cities, Amritsar in East Punjab in India and Lahore in West Punjab in Pakistan. These include visits to religious shrines, literary exchanges and especially recent transportation events such as the initiation of bus services to help people meet their relatives on the other side of the border.

            Significantly, as a core thesis of the book, Singh demonstrates rather eloquently that where border provinces and regions have some common cultural characteristics and a common heritage—as do the two Punjabs—the keenness for improving conflictual relations between the regions is higher. In this respect, this book represents for its reader a much-needed refreshing proposal for conflict resolution in the India-Pakistan conflict, the conclusions for which can be extrapolated and applied to other conflict prone border regions in other parts of the world.

            In achieving its objective, Singh’s book begins by providing the reader with an analysis of SAARC that offers an important political and regional context for the later examination of his local-national case studies of cultural cooperation in Amritsar and Lahore. Of the four SAARC objectives, just one—to provide all individuals the opportunity to live in dignity and to realize their potential—is directly related to Singh’s own argument about the way to achieve peace and cooperation in the region. Significantly, however, Singh feels that even with this objective, SAARC has failed to fulfill its potential, as serious consideration to the free movement of people within the regions’ boundaries is rarely considered and a state of violence and insecurity between the border regions continues, especially between Jammu and Kashmir regions, which have exclusively dominated SAARC’s conflict resolution strategies. Singh blames the security politics and foreign policies of India and Pakistan for having created the limitations and shortcomings in achieving South Asian cooperation and peace goals in the region.

            In reinforcing his core theme, Singh’s presentation of collaborative events in West and East Punjab are offered as examples of alternative, understudied, cultural routes to South Asian cooperation compared to SAARC. Giving background to his case studies, Singh provides a rich repertoire of historical and geographical context of India and Pakistan for the scholar of comparative studies. He uses maps to direct his reader to the ways in which colonialism reproduced place and fostered displacement caused by the 1947 Indian partition. In doing so he demonstrates how Punjab, or the “five rivers of Sutlej, Beas, Ravi, Jhelum and Chenab,” became two separate countries, peoples and identities. Pakistan Punjab, with 25 percent of the original Punjab territory, currently makes up 56 percent of that country’s population, while India’s state of Punjab, representing only 1.6 percent of India’s territory, holds a meager 2.3 percent of India’s population. In Pakistan, the Punjab identity is a majority while in India the Punjab constitutes a very small minority.

            Subsequently in a third chapter, “Initiatives Taken by the Two Punjabs,” Singh drives home his book’s thesis. In examining what he refers to as the meaningful and rational Punjab-Punjab consultation, which he describes as a “path of peace” between the two big brothers of South Asia (India and Pakistan), Singh’s book goes on to demonstrate the ways 

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