Parinaz

Indian Delegation, 2002

IMPACT: SOCIAL

How has Seeds of Peace had an impact on you?

‘Seeds of Peace changed the way I think, talk, and even how I feel about circumstances and people around me.’

On November 26, 2008, my city was under siege. The Taj Mahal Hotel, where terrorists wreaked havoc for three days, is about a minute’s walk away from where I stay. At a candle-light vigil, a group of burly men began shouting anti-Pakistan slogans, including “Pakistan Murdabad” (“Death to Pakistan”), “let’s bomb them,” “let’s kill them all,” and variations on these that make your stomach turn.

I don’t know what possessed me and I don’t know how I did it, but I pushed my way into the center of the mob and yelled to be heard over the fervour. I asked if they knew what they were talking about, who they thought actually did this, how many innocent people exactly like them they were planning on killing …

Some questioned me, my loyalties; I responded. When I think about it, on that high emotional note, we were actually engaging in dialogue—they were being forced to engage in discussion in support of their views!

I’m not suggesting that each of those people went home a changed human being, but I do not doubt that many were compelled to think—to consider the ramifications of such careless, unbridled ill-will; to actually listen to their own articulations of hatred and recognise its futility. I would consider my purpose served if I were successful in making even a handful among them conscious of the fact that the enemy does, in fact, have a face.

How are you impacting your community?

Beyond standing up to unruly mobs, I am currently an attorney in Mumbai. The pursuit of justice is a natural extension of peace and both are parts of an organic whole. My Camp experience proves invaluable, reminding me several times a day to temper my stereotypes and hone my objectivity. Moreover, it gives me both the courage and fortitude to remain steadfast in my cause and continue to communicate it within the communities I interact with.

EDUCATION

• BLS LLB, University of Mumbai, 2011

WORK

• Associate Attorney, Bharucha and Partners

“I’m not suggesting that each of those people went home a changed human being, but I do not doubt that many were compelled to think—to consider the ramifications of such careless, unbridled ill-will; to actually listen to their own articulations of hatred and recognise its futility. I would consider my purpose served if I were successful in making even a handful among them conscious of the fact that the enemy does, in fact, have a face.”