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  • Dil se Dil: Independence Day Friendship Celebration -
    14-15th August 2007

    Sixty years and three generations after Independence, the people of India and the people of Pakistan have never jointly celebrated the seminal event that gave birth to both nations.   This year, all that will change.

    On the night of August 14th and into the early hours of August 15th, preeminent musicians and celebrity Masters of Ceremonies will come together across the India-Pakistan border to lead the youth of both countries into a new era of friendship and cultural interaction:  Dil se Dil: Independence Day Friendship Celebration.

    Though this commemoration will entail a single, unifying concert event, the performances will originate from twin stages, one in India and one in Pakistan, on either side of the Attari/Wagah border.  Live performances will alternate from one stage to the other, visible to the entire live audience, no matter on which side of the border they are sitting.

    This two-stage-one-concert approach, with its innovative utilization of advanced telecommunications, sound engineering, and broadcast technology is as symbolic as it is practical.  It represents the younger generation doing exactly what they do best: harnessing technology to create community and to overcome distance, physical barriers, and outmoded thinking.

    Dil se Dil is a celebration of our past, acknowledging our shared history while recognizing that these two great countries are pursuing separate national destinies.  It is a celebration of our present, displaying our common humanity.  (We dance to the same songs!)  It is a celebration of our future, demonstrating that mutual dreams of more peaceful, open, collaborative relations are indeed close at hand.

    This historic event will be televised live by major networks in both countries, including Doordarshan.  It will commence at 11:00 pm (IST) and conclude at 1:00 am (IST), thereby spanning the midnight hour in both time zones. Because of its significance and scope, Dil se Dil is a made-for-broadcast event and the dictates of first-class, live video graphic presentation will be given priority.  Notwithstanding the late hour, we believe this event will capture a substantial viewer ship; reaching more than 150 million viewers in India alone – and commercial channels in India have been discussing the desirability of doing a re-broadcast in the afternoon or primetime of 15 August as well.

    Production Partners

    Routes 2 Roots, a Delhi-based NGO with an office in Pakistan, is using their decades of experience building social, cultural, and business connections among the peoples of South Asia to tackle the administrative and many logistical aspects of the project, as well as permissions, which have all been granted.

    Friends Without Borders, which has teams on-the-ground in both countries, is the creative author of this event.

    Program Details

    Musical Talent

        AR Rahman
        Rahat Fateh Ali Khan
        Supporting artists (Atif Aslam, Sivamani, and others)

    Celebrity Appearances:

        Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla, Wasim Akram/Shaan, Shaiyaane Malik
        Other celebrity spots (from film, sports, creative, business, etc.):
            As interviewers (interviewing audience members)
            For video sound bites (message pairs)

    Unfortunately this event was cancelled at the last moment. It began with anonymous telephone threats to one of the directors of Routes 2 Roots, which the Indian Intelligence Bureau was able to trace to “an off-shore satellite source somewhere in the Indian Ocean.” These call were followed with calls to the Routes 2 Roots office, traced to a pay-phone in Delhi. Routes 2 Roots were once again summoned to the Home Ministry and this time the message was clear: the Government of India would not be able to guaranty the safety of those attending the event and was considering withdrawing its No Objection Certificate – government-speak for the permission we had arduously obtained to be able to hold the concert. We had no choice but to cancel the concert. We hope we will be able to realize this dream and make dil se dil a reality.

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