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Author: Miratun Nahar
Arindam Mondal/Subhanil Chatterjee
Compilor: Subhendu Dasgupta / Manas Acharya
Publisher: Heinrich Boll Foundation
ISBN/UPC (if available): N/A
Some of us thought that the two religious communities, Muslim and Hindu, had been living in Indian side by side for a long time, and would continue to do so for ages to come. Yet we don’t seem to have much contact with each other; we don’t meet, converse, socialize. What little of this that exists, is in the villages; in cities, none whatsoever. This absence is one reason why we know nothing about one another, or know little, and continue to misunderstand. And this gap in knowledge is what leads to mutual animosity and conflict.
Based on this thinking, we decided to get together and start talking. Hindus and Muslims have all kinds of notions about each other that are wrong and half-baked. To correct these notions, we needed to sit in groups, discuss, inform, argue, exchange ideas, converse. The first few sessions were held in the conference room of Calcutta University’s Department of South and South-East Asian Studies; next at the Muslim Girls Hostel and Basanti Devi College of Kolkata; a couple of sessions in Santiniketan, Bashapara, and finally at the Centre for National Integration, Calcutta University. Many people came-students, researchers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, journalists, writers, social workers and filmmakers. Many issues came up in the course of conversation. All had their say.
SUBHENDU DASGUPTA is Professor, Department of South and South-East Asian Studies, Calcutta University.
MANAS ACHARYA is a young artist who studied painting at Kala Bhavan, Visva Bharati, Santiniketan.