While roses were being exchanged for Valentines Day on Tuesday, the Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) activists distributed pamphlets urging students to observe Haya Day.
IJT celebrated Haya Day to curb the trend of Valentine Day which is against the teachings of Islam, said IJT central information secretary Kashif Javed. Speaking with The Express Tribune Javed said pamphlets were distributed among students in education institutions to celebrate Haya Day instead of Valentines Day.
At Punjab University (PU), IJT displayed posters and charts to promote Haya Day. IJT information secretary at PU Abdul Muqeet said, “We arranged brief lectures and presentations about Haya Day at several departments.”
The IJT also organised a conference at Hostel No 16 in the evening in this connection where office bearers gave speeches condemning Valentines Day. “If anybody shows us that Valentines Day is in line with the teachings of Islam, we will also celebrate it. . . . A certain lobby has been promoting it in Pakistan for the last few years,” Muqeet claimed.
Javed said the IJT was unable to organise activities to celebrate Haya Day throughout the country because its council members had been only recently elected.
He said that IJT had condemned Valentines Day in the past as well but now it had started a campaign to replace it with Haya Day. He said IJT didn’t force anybody to stop celebrating Valentines Day, it just tried to raise awareness about Haya Day.
PU Resident Officer Javed Sami said there had been no untoward incident at PU. “Students don’t celebrate Valentines Day at the university any way, they do it elsewhere,” he added.
Many National College of Arts (NCA) students were seen exchanging flowers. “It’s about expressing your feelings. It’s not as if we are doing anything immoral,” said an NCA student who did not wish to give her name.
Some eunuchs celebrated Valentines by distributing roses among children and patients at some public hospitals in the city. “We are giving red roses to children in hospitals so that they feel better,” said Nasreen Guddu, who was distributing flowers.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th, 2012.