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Tuesday, Jun 11, 2002

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Peace fest focuses on Gujarat carnage

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THE weekend saw a peace initiative set in motion by several Bangalore-based citizen groups.

It began with a media workshop on `Covering communal conflict - lessons learnt from Gujarat' organised by the National Law School of India University and the Network of Women in Media, Bangalore on June 7 and 8. The workshop had senior editors and journalists interacting with a panel of journalists from all over Karnataka.

Speakers included editors and journalists such as Mr Shekar Gupta from the Indian Express, Mr Vinod Mehta from Outlook, NLSIU director Mr G. Mohan Gopal, Ms Kalpana Sharma from The Hindu, Mr Darshan Desai of the Indian Express, Mr Siddarth Varadharajan from the Times of India and freelance writers Achin Vanaik and Jyoti Punwani.

Meanwhile, the Bangalore Initiative for Peace, comprising several NGOs, scientists, teachers, journalists, doctors, students, artists and actors, organised a peace festival at the Gandhi Bhavan. Speakers here traced the origin of communal tension and the highlight of these was a session where students spoke up for peace. Cartoons from local artists, film shows on peace, white ribbon campaign "say yes to peace", were other features of the fest. Then there were food, mehendi, face painting and book stalls. Day-long music performances and dance shows were also part of the fest.

f-20 communications released their series of TV spots on "Stop the violence,'' theme at the fest. The spots ranging from 30 to 45 seconds duration in English and Hindi "on building a better India together,'' were played non-stop at the festival, providing a backdrop to the spirit of peace. Oxfam, Voices and Madhyam provided funds for making the TV spots.

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