All heart. That's the only phrase to describe Brijmohan Lall Munjal's extraordinarily moving speech at the valedictory event of Aman Ki Asha's Indo-Pak business meet in New Delhi, May 19, 2010. He may be the world's bicycle and two-wheeler king, but all the success and wealth hasn't made him forget his roots or the people of his birthplace: Kamalia in Faisalabad district of Pakistan.
In a speech laden with emotion and full of wonderful shayari, all recited in perfect diction, he stole the audience's heart. Sample this: Mitaa denae ko nafrat ek sadee ki, mohabbat kaa ek lamhaa kafee hai (a moment of love is enough to wipe out years of enmity). Mind you, this was just one of the half dozen that he reeled off to great applause. Later, he proudly showed TOI the transcript of the shayari, written in Urdu, in which he's well-versed. His enthusiasm to reach out to people from across the border was so sincere that it moved not only the guests but also the hosts in equal measure.
His delight at the Aman Ki Asha initiative was indeed genuine. He said repeatedly that while a lot of efforts had been made to normalise relations between India and Pakistan they had come to naught. He said that this would be different. He said, "It will certainly make a difference. I feel that from my heart. Fortunately no politicians are involved." He was full of praise for The Times of India and the Jang Group for this bold initiative.
Speaking to TOI, Munjal said that he still has old friends in Pakistan. "I have personally tried and helped some of the people I know when they were starting business ventures in Pakistan ," he said, narrating how he sent machinery for a cycle venture in Pakistan from his factory in Ludhiana. "And I was there when the first cycle was made," he said with a big smile on his face.
At 86, Munjal still has clear memories of his early days in Kamalia. "I cannot forget those days. When I went back there, I travelled to my school to check whether my name was still mentioned on the school board," he said.
Times News Network
Sunday, May 30, 2010
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The News on Sunday Special Report: India Pakistan prisoners more editions
We probably didn't need to do this Special Report. Newspaper stories don't matter when it comes to Indians in Pakistani jails and vice versa. In fact, 'vice versa' sums it up. We do to them what they do to us.
Except when the two countries decide to begin talking, yet again! This time a little before the foreign secretary level talks, some Pakistani prisoners were released by India (and vice versa must have happened) and some more were release....read more
For the past 2 years the Jang Group and Geo have been working on a project of great national interest; one that we hope will help usher in an era of peace and prosperity in the country and indeed, in the region. And one that hopefully all Pakistanis can be proud of. more
The Jang Group has entered into an agreement with the Times of India Group, the largest media group of India, to campaign for peace betw