The Times of India’s peace initiative, titled ‘Aman ki Asha’, has garnered a lot of interest. The campaign is entering its second phase from today, which involves a massive on-ground activity that invites music lovers from India and Pakistan to come and lend their voice and art and become a part of the multi-faceted culture. The campaign has been created by Taproot India, while the media business is being handled by Lodestar Universal.
The ‘Aman ki Asha: Destination Peace’ campaign looks beyond the confines of a 62-year-old political boundary to the primal bonds that tie together the people of India and Pakistan.
Rahul Kansal, Chief Marketing Officer, The Times of India, said that the campaign would continue for a year or even longer.
Agnello Dias, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Taproot India, who brought India its first Cannes Grand Prix in 2008 for the work for Lead India along with his partner Santosh Padhi, is the brain behind the ‘Aman ki Asha’ campaign.
Speaking on the objective behind the campaign, Dias said, “The idea was to make a start in reducing the build-up of mindless hatred among Common people on both sides of the border. The objective is not to forgive or condone fundamentalism, terrorism and violence, be it in any form.”
Why now to create a friendly bond? Dias replied, “There is little doubt that ultimately all people want peace. But there are two schools of thought about the means. One seeks aggression, subjugation and domination. The other is through friendship, open-mindedness and deeper understanding. Since the former has got neither us nor the world’s greatest superpower anywhere, this is an attempt at the latter.”
The campaign involves television, print, outdoor and radio. In terms of digital, TOI has taken the website route to promote the campaign. The campaign has also made its presence felt through social networking sites like Facebook, Orkut and Twitter.
The first phase of the campaign was launched on January 1, 2010.
The second phase of the ‘Aman Ki Asha’ campaign will see a music festival that will bring together music lovers from the two countries and will see the participation of musicians like Kailash Kher, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, and Shubha Mudgal, among many others. The festival begins from January 16, 2009 and will continue till January-end.
On the feedback received, Dias commented, “As expected, there was the initial purge of venom, hatred and animosity between people on both sides. But once that subsided, we are getting resurgent feedback about how our hatred is irrationally disproportionate to the differences we may have. We cannot live in constant fear of what will happen next. And the only thing that can take away that fear is peace. Definitely not hatred, even if it results in victory.”
TOI has roped in Amitabh Bachchan as the face of the campaign. A film on the ‘Aman ki Asha’ anthem has already gone on air in the first phase. The film has been directed by Vinil Mathew, while the producer is Swadha Kulkarni of Footcandles Films. The lyrics have been penned by Gulzar. The track has been composed by Shankar Mahadevan, who also sang the song along with Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.
Since this is an initiative of a friendship bond between two countries, the campaign will run in collaboration with the Jang Group of Pakistan, who have come together to develop a stronger Track 2. The campaign will run in both the countries with some creative overlapping and some of it developed independently for the respective region.