Should we report aerial firing in basant?
The govt's idea of rewarding money to someone who reports an incident is completely useless.
If I had a brother or even a close relative, who enjoyed aerial firing, especially during weddings or birthdays, I honestly doubt that I would ever report them to the police for a measly Rs5,000.
Activities such as kite-flying and aerial firing, particularly amongst the youth, have to be dealt with through a stronger hand.
Basant, a festival for which kite-flying is an essential aspect, is especially prevalent in Punjab. Kite-flying there is not only to entertain the masses, it is part of a much larger tradition that resonates heavily in the region.
That’s my point — tradition, much like a habit, is tough to break.
The importance of the kite-flying tradition can be gauged by the fact that back in 2005, when the Supreme Court decided to uphold a ban on the activity, there were waves of massive protests outside the courthouse in Lahore which later turned into violence.
Not much has changed between now and then, as protests along the same lines are still rife.
Protesters argue that kite-flying is part of their culture and the government can’t deprive them of the freedom to celebrate what is rightfully theirs.
Hence, dishing out a Rs5,000 reward to whoever reports an incident of kite-flying or aerial firing is probably not going to completely eliminate their occurrence from our society for two basic reasons. Firstly, people don’t generally give up what they are rather passionate about, and, secondly, the inefficient, easily bought police officials will in all probability push the person who reports the event aside, only to negotiate with the accused in right earnest.
In fact, why is a third person needed to report the event anyway? The authorities need to be more mindful themselves when it comes to curbing such happenings. Aerial firing especially can’t go unnoticed by officials concerned since it’s hardly a silent affair. A little vigilance is all it would take on the authorities’ part.
Which is why I believe a superficial mechanism such as the petty reward money is hardly going to be sufficient. The administration needs to resolve the problem at the grassroot level.