Saturday, June 15, 2024

Pakistan-Holi is not allowed

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The decision of the higher educational institutional regulatory body of the country to ban Holi shows the true diabolical character of Pakistan

Pakistan has done it again.

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This time the banana republic has truly demonstrated that theocracy remains supreme in its polity.

The country’s regulatory body has banned the celebration of Holi and other festivals in the country’s educational campuses after videos surfaced on social media of students playing Holi.

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This was done to “preserve the country’s Islamic identity”.

This, however doesn’t come as a surprise.

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It as a country, was formed on the basis of the two-nation theory.

The theory was propagated by Syed Ahmed Khan in the 1890s and was carried forward by other Islamic separatists such as Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Mohammed Iqbal etc.

Exposes its orthodox character

Pakistan was never a stable country. The Army ruled the country for more than half of its existence and the Islamists run amok.

The Islamization of the country took place, according to Tilak Devasher under Zia Ul Haq’s presidency.

Pakistan was meant to be the new Mecca for the Muslim faithful.  It was meant to protect its minorities.

Pakistan was meant to guarantee them all rights that are enjoyed by the citizens of any liberal democratic country.

Unfortunately, the latest move by the Pakistani educational regulatory body exposes its Islamist character.

Holi- a festival of all

Holi, as a festival is for all. Irrespective of religious and cultural identity, Holi is a festival of inclusivity.

It celebrates the divine and eternal love of Radha and Lord Krishna on one hand and on the other hand the victory of good over evil.

Significance of the festival

The latter is symbolized in the form of victory of Lord Vishnu’s fierce Narasimha avatar over the demon king Hiranyakashypa.

Over the centuries, Holi has emerged as a festival of India’s cosmopolitan and syncretic character.

From Lalitaditya Muktipada of the Karkota dynasty of J&K to Prince Dara Shikoh of the Mughal Empire, everybody reveled in the celebration of Holi.

In a state of atrophy

Pakistan’s latest decision brings to the fore, the essentially iconoclastic character of the Islamic country.

Pakistan’s minorities live a life that is not better than slaves. Hindu, Sikh and Christian girls are abducted, raped, proselytized to Islam and are forcibly married off.

The population of the country’s minorities have come down from 15% to less than 2%.

Pakistan’s diabolical and repressive blasphemy law is used to silence dissent against dissident voices in the country.

Any country which has held on to religion and made it the theoretical basis of law and governance will inevitably experience atrophy, as Steven Pinker puts it.

Saving Islamic identity as the premise for banning the celebration of Holi shows the intolerant and basically schadenfreude nature of the Pakistani state.

Perhaps, it would be better for Pakistan to learn something from Turkey’s Kemalist period.

Pakistan has learnt nothing from the peril that intermixing politics and religion can have for the stability of the state.

Conclusion

Even as liberal intellectuals on one hand and Indo-Pakistani doves on the other hand continue to advocate good ties with the each other, Pakistan’s decisions repeatedly pour cold water over such initiatives.

At a time when the country should focus on improving its economic condition, it is busy in preserving its identity.

Pakistan will never change. It is therefore futile to expect anything from the land of purity to serve the interests of the country’s minorities.

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