By Mansoor Qureshi
‘Music is the message of peace, and music only brings peace.’ – Zubin Mehta
Art is one of the few things in this world that brings even the worn torn countries and people together. Be it music, films, paintings or any other medium. It promotes welfare, love and togetherness. Keeping that view in mind, another man from the land of opportunities has risen to do the same. His name is Manish Sood, CEO of Intense Entertainment and IntenseDMV. He’s one of the few people who have been promoting artists in the USA and letting these artists represent their countries in a very likeable fashion and manner. His upcoming musical concert will star Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Atif Aslam.
Recently due to the political warfare between Pakistan and India, who have somehow sworn to be enemies of one another till the bitter end of time, have raised some questionable points that have no basis whatsoever. The people of both these nations, not many however, are arguing with Manish about why is he promoting Pakistani artists. Indians say he should be ashamed of himself for doing this and should be more patriotic and avoid Pakistanis altogether and Pakistanis are raising the question with the artists as to why are they collaborating with an Indian. These people are just a speck in the vast majority who are harboring and inciting hatred among one another and have no real goals or agenda.
We have to understand that art is a neutral ground and a form of expression that brings people together. By doing something like a concert with different artists from around the world, their own country is being promoted. If we harbor such animosity against each other, then both Pakistanis and Indians should completely boycott one another. Stop using products of each other’s country because that will be anti-national; stop watching the TV shows and other artists’ performances, because, again, that will be anti-national; in fact, stop interacting with one another because you are simply supporting the other nation by this logic.
According to Manish’s recent Facebook post, “I am doing Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Atif Aslam's concert, not because they are Pakistanis, but because I believe they both are one of the best artists in this world.” This clearly shows that he doesn’t have any ulterior motives but wants people to truly enjoy these artists for who they are. He is promoting love and peace among the two nations and wishes to break the cycle of hatred that has been rooted for decades in the heart of both nations.
My final verdict for my Pakistani brethren is that you should be proud that your fellow countrymen are representing your nation on a global platform and getting this country laurels. And to our neighbors, you should realize that promoting art doesn’t make you anti-national or a traitor. In fact, it shows that you are not governed by the petty thoughts of hatred against your neighbors and have a big enough heart to accept them. This is actually a wrong number dialed by both ends, a miscommunication, which has caused this pointless uproar and a kind of hatred spewed among both the citizens of Pakistan and India.
Manish’s endeavors and work has been appreciated by both the Pakistani and Indian communities alike in the United States. He is striving to bring peace and harmony between the two nations and its people in his own way, and I hope that more and more people will follow this and do some great work in bridging the gap between the two nations, for remaining in a war-like state brings harm on both ends and yields no fruitful result.