Why ban basant?

Published: March 14, 2012
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Of all the degradation our cultural events have had to face over the years, the banning of basant is the most damaging. Having spent the last 11 years abroad, I was quite looking forward to celebrating basant after a long hiatus. Unfortunately, the powers that be, in their infinite wisdom, have decided that the event is too dangerous, particularly for the motor cycle and bicycle riding public. While it is difficult to disagree with the logic that illegal dor and stray gunfire can cause death and devastation to motorcycle riders and others, I am stumped as to why this necessitates an outright ban on the festival.

Basant is significant for many reasons, not least that it is a centuries-old cultural tradition of Punjab that cuts across all lines of society, religion, caste and creed. In many ways, the universality of the festival makes it symbolic of the culture of tolerance and diversity that the subcontinent was once known for. The upkeep of this festival is particularly crucial for Pakistan and Lahore specifically. Consider: in a society as polarised and fragmented as ours, the need to focus on events and issues that bind us together is not just important, it is an existential imperative. Since there is no counter-narrative either in the form of media outreach or social events to which the majority of the populace subscribe, the country remains mired in a cycle of conservatism with no credible cultural opposition. And while basant has been banned ostensibly for security reasons, its banning will undoubtedly strengthen the lunatic fringe that considers the festival a Hindu/unIslamic event and our culture as a mere extension of their version of Islam.

This is not the only reason why basant is significant. A large chunk of the ‘Old City’ had come to rely on the ‘kite-flying season’ as their livelihood. The bazaar around Mochi Gate, in particular, used to be littered with kite shops showcasing kites of all sizes and colours. For these local shop owners, the run-up to basant was an economic feeding frenzy that used to sustain them long after the festival had ended. This bazaar and their plight now paints a depressing picture.

As if these are not reasons enough to ensure that proper safeguards are in place for hazard free kite-flying, there is also the wider damage to our almost non-existent tourism industry which needs to be considered. For years, India has been trying to replicate basant in various forms but they have not been successful for one reason: even in a post-Partition subcontinent, Lahore is Punjab’s foremost city and the undisputed home of the festival. The unique kotha’s and haveli’s of Lahore’s old city, coupled with the spirit and character of the andaroon shehr creates atmosphere that is not replicable in any other part of the subcontinent, let alone Pakistan. Indians, particularly from North India know this and not-so-long-ago used to arrive in droves to attend basant in Lahore. With proper marketing and PR, there is no doubt that basant has the potential to become a cultural event that is appealing to tourists across the globe.

It is a crying shame that the Punjab government does not see this glaring reality and instead chose to sacrifice it at the altar of yet another ‘security concern’. Does the government not realise how absurd it sounds when it effectively relinquishes it’s duty to clamp down on illegal dor by capitulating to the very mafia’s that manufacture it? How can any government keep a straight face while tendering this explanation to a taxpaying public? This is equivalent to not taking action against terrorism because it involves too much effort. We are not asking a lot from the government, we are simply asking it to ‘govern’!

Today, we as Pakistanis are battling with ourselves to find common values through which we can engage with one another and by banning basant, we are allowing the issues that tear us apart to take precedence over the events that pull us together. In the battle for common values, the festival is a unique symbol of our culture and one that has almost unanimous support from Lahoris across all strata of society.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 15th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (62)

  • amit
    Mar 14, 2012 - 10:19PM

    BASANT PANCHMI is a Hindu festival celebrating Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and art. It is celebrated every year on the fifth day (Panchami) of the Indian month Magh (January-February), the first day of spring..and it is not only celebrate in punjab state .it is clebarated in whole of india .but i like surat kite festival.Recommend

  • Truthteller
    Mar 14, 2012 - 11:01PM

    Makar sankranti is celebrated across India with full zeal….. Sky is full of kites in the season…. Its not a “PUNJAB” festiwal, its reach is pan-India…. Please research before about kite festival of lahore as against India…. And yeah i am an Indian Muslim and I love to celebrate this festival !!!Recommend

  • babar mahmood
    Mar 14, 2012 - 11:20PM

    basant has paid the price for the rapid spread of religious intolerance and bigotry in our society.Basant as the mullahs continously scream is a non-muslim festival they say and so flying kites and wearing yellow apparently puts islam in danger according to the mullahs.
    It is sad to see the govt. surrendering before the pressure tactics of the religious fascists and do what they wanted.
    The mullahs have tasted blood and now know that they can force the govt. to do their bidding if they are violent and vocal enough.It is time the govt. stood upto pressure tactics of the religious rightwing.If the govt. continues to give ground,pretty soon we’ll have people’s hands being chopped off and women being forced to wear hijabs and burkas.

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  • zeeshan malik
    Mar 14, 2012 - 11:24PM

    The maulvis will dictate how we live our lives,what we can and what we cannot do.this is the result of decades of our society quietly accepting the maulvis ipuntrusion into our legal,social and public lives.How much more does the public have to suffer due to the delusions of the religious extremists?
    Will the state ever summon the courage to take on the religious fascists attacking our society?

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  • yousaf
    Mar 15, 2012 - 12:08AM

    Welcome home after 11 long years abroad.Not before I read your article about basant did I know that this festival was of such a great importance for the existence of Pakistan.I assure you that I fully agree with all what you said in favour of this most important and necessary event,if you promise and give a guarantee that no HEAD OF AN INFANT will fall in the lap of his/her father while riding a poor-man”s conveyance,sitting in front of the person for whom he/she has all the faith in the world that no harm will come to him/her so long as he is their chaperon

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  • Mir
    Mar 15, 2012 - 12:39AM

    the government is so weak and afraid to govern. The Punjab has killed its culture, Basant used to be wonderful festival, i remember in Quetta all the sections of society used to celebrate basant without surfacing of any differences. But now when there is no such event which binds us together extremism,fanaticism and differences has increased between different ethinicities and sects. We alienated our motherland by killing its culture and now mother has disowned us.

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  • Arindom
    Mar 15, 2012 - 1:03AM

    Dear Author, please visit areas other than Punjab in India- before writing. ‘Punjabi’ Basant is celebrated everywhere in India- albeit by different names – but according to the same Hindu calendar for thousands of Years. In Assam, in Gujarat , in Andhra Pradesh, in Tamil Nadu, everywhere – please visit these parts. Unlike in Pakistan where Panjabi culture pre-dominates, in India Punjab is but a small state in the north. The Spring festival (Basant in Panjab) has it’s own life, history, mores, names and version in various parts of India. People in all these parts of India are very happy celebrating their Spring festivals and culture – couldnot care less about Lahore – a town which perhaps other than Punjabis (a small group in India’s 1.2 billion people) no one in India has even heard of , or care…..

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  • Sheheryar
    Mar 15, 2012 - 1:05AM

    Ok enjoy kite-flying the day Basant is celebrated. But do you assure me that you shall ride or take a ride on a motorcyle/bicycle for an hour or so in androon shehr?

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  • Cynical
    Mar 15, 2012 - 1:07AM

    Our forefathers didn’t convert to celebrate basant.If they wanted we would still be in the dark age, worshiping idols of a thousand gods and godesses.
    Our infatuaion with this pagan culture is the reason why the muslims from the middle east look down upon us.As they say, converts carry a baggage.

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  • Babloo
    Mar 15, 2012 - 1:13AM

    Basant is a Hindu word. If the festival can be given an Arabic name and all singing, dancing and other un-Islamic practices are banned, then it may be okay.
    Also please check with learned men of windom of Difa-e-Pakistan to make sure its all proper. May need to consult Mullah Omar too.

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  • Senman
    Mar 15, 2012 - 1:59AM

    I think they banned because they realized there won’t be any minorities(in Pakistan) in the near future to celebrate this, so why give a holiday?

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  • Babloo
    Mar 15, 2012 - 2:43AM

    Tribune , which allows derogatory comments about worship of idols should atleast allow defense of those. Here is the defense. In Hinduism, God is defined as one, with no shape, no form, no limit. Since he is shapeless, formless the devotee, for matters of representation and symbolism, can depict or draw him any shape or form and worship. So whensome one worships an idol, he is actually worshipping the one God and the idol is just a representation of the devotees mind of him. In Hinduism, the God also does not show any favopurs if you are a Hindu. God treats everyone failrly, judging only by the actions of the person. Since God is one, it does not matter what you call him. The God who created people who are Muslims is no different than the God who created Jews or others. Thats the true concept of one God. People who claim their God is rhe real God are those that do not beleive in one God. Its a very simple logic.

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  • Mar 15, 2012 - 5:34AM

    @babar mahmood: Dear Sir you have rightly said “so flying kites and wearing yellow apparently puts islam in danger according to the mullahs.” I wonder when Islam is the fastest growing religion why do mullahs keep shouting “Islam in danger” Sounds funny. Remember those days when the Muslim rulers of OUDH that is Lucknow used to celebrate Basant. BGasant is a universal festival to welcome spring after winter. Any way why go that far in recent past remember when people used to merrily hum “Zahid sharab pine de masjid me baith kar ya woh jagah bata de……….” Where is that GANGA JAMUNI culture as we remember????????? What have Mullah…. Pundit done to us?????

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  • Hamid Rashid
    Mar 15, 2012 - 6:09AM

    Dear indian readers, nowhere did I say that Basant is not celebrated in India. The only point was that insofar as kite flying on Basant in Lahore is concerned, there is huge tourist potential which is evidenced in the fact that many Indian visitors, particularly from Punjab used to visit to celebrate the event and fly kites – that’s all.

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  • SKChadha
    Mar 15, 2012 - 6:31AM

    The festivals are meant for collective social enjoyment where people burst crackers, play with each other and engage in social activities whether it is Eid, X-mas, Holi, Diwali, Basant or Navratri Dandia. A festival loses its shine in the absence of such festivity. In absence of such enjoyment, it is just a religious day and not festival. Festival binds us by social interactions, expression of joy and feeling of togetherness. Destroying heritage of happiness in the name of religion, accidents, fire etc is our cultural degradation. The society should be educated for evils of over indulgence. That’s all.

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  • nationalist baloch
    Mar 15, 2012 - 6:36AM

    … too many faarigh, vaela Indians sitting on the net all day with nothing else to do … their sham economic progress leaving them without jobs … and nothing better to do than pose as Pakistanis and scribble here … or just scribble Indian gibberish …

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  • Deepwater
    Mar 15, 2012 - 6:41AM

    @Cynical “Our infatuaion with this pagan culture is the reason why the muslims from the middle east look down upon us.As they say, converts carry a baggage.”

    Converts carry a baggage? You mean they carry the baggage for the arabs at middle eastern airports?

    BTW, what were your beloved middle easterners before the advent of Islam? Are they not converts too? And since Pagans are not converts, do these middle easterners admire them?

    So warped.

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  • nationalist baloch
    Mar 15, 2012 - 6:52AM

    @author …

    … it is a ban which seems to resonate eell with the overwhelming majority of the citizens of Punjab … otherwise there would have been wide civil protests in various forms … In terms of popular support acceptability level to the public, it is similar to the restrictions on ostentatious wedding functions … In today’s times public and the media doesn’t let government take an easy ride where they do not feel the rules or bans re right …

    … until the government gets round to completing its actions against the tundi taar mafia, the ban must stay in place … or intil when the professional kite flyers come to their senses and respect public safety …

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  • Rajeev Nidumolu
    Mar 15, 2012 - 6:57AM

    Banning is got to do with trying to distance oneself from cultural roots . It reflects the zeal of converts to distance themselves from their heritage and become arabicized .
    The position is close to religious ideology propagated by Ayatollah Khomeini and his successors who have tried to ban Nowruz ( Festival of Spring and new year just like Basant) as non Islamic. They have tried to ban a festivals which was celebrated by Persians for more than Two Thousand years .
    Celebration of onset of spring is a universal festival with different names in different countries. The western world celebrates the onset of spring and end of winter as Easter

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  • Pakistanzindabad
    Mar 15, 2012 - 7:34AM

    @Cynical: Dear indians, this guy is an idiot,please dont mind him. We have many other idiots like him. But we also have many other educated and not so rigid people. Apologies from a Pakistani brother.

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  • BlackJack
    Mar 15, 2012 - 7:52AM

    @yousaf:
    I do not understand how danger to motorcyclists from sharp thread can cause the state to ban a festival that brings happiness to many and livelihood to the poor. The same thread (manjha) was present in India as well, and has now been banned – kite flying continues. Your logic is akin to banning female education because terrorists are blowing up girl’s schools. To the writer of this article, Punjabi basant may have very well been centred in Lahore, but the same festival is celebrated just as prominently as Makar Sankranthi (with kites) in several other parts of the country.

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  • Senman
    Mar 15, 2012 - 8:06AM

    @nationalist baloch
    huh Indians hate posing as Pakistanis, fact. Its happening the other-way around worldwide
    You do realize I can post this from office right?
    Come out of the crab mentality.Recommend

  • Arijit Sharma
    Mar 15, 2012 - 8:08AM

    @Cynical: ” … Our infatuaion with this pagan culture is the reason why the muslims from the middle east look down upon us. … ”

    Pretensions of being of Arabic or Persian descent gets sub-continental Muslims the disrespect you speak of.

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  • Arijit Sharma
    Mar 15, 2012 - 8:18AM

    @Cynical: ” … Our forefathers didn’t convert to celebrate basant.If they wanted we would still be in the dark age, worshiping idols of a thousand gods and godesses. … “

    Belief in a single God, single Prophet, single Book has brought much devastation and killing, has it not ?

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  • Waqas Khan
    Mar 15, 2012 - 8:42AM

    Give the guy a break. He outlines a social event that has the potential to generate a lot of revenue or at the very least put a smile on the sad faces in Pakistan…and what do you do? Bring in religion ( of course ) and start your typical Pak-India non-sense. Stop bashing each other for once and learn to appreciate others.

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  • Rakib
    Mar 15, 2012 - 9:21AM

    @Hamid Rashid:

    A fine write-up & a timely clarification. I agree that you primarily highlighted the enormous tourist potential the festival holds. Certain festivals get associated with some cities for variety of reasons or for no apparent reason. For example, post-monsoon Sair-e-Gul Faroshan (Phool Walon Ki Sair) is an exclusive Delhi affair. Similarly, even as it is an all-India festival, the way the kite flying is celebrated in Surat & Ahmedabad has no parallel elsewhere in India. And despite Delhi-based Sufiana names like Nizam Auliya ki Basant, Khwaja Bakhtiar Kaki ki Basant & Khusrau ki Basant,it is not Delhi but Lahore that is traditionally better known for celebrating it. The only other place that has the potential to vie with Lahore for this festival-tourism would be the Old Walled City of Ahmedabad with its intricate serpentine lanes, ancient havelis & a river front.

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  • PakiKaka
    Mar 15, 2012 - 9:48AM

    @nationalist baloch:
    LOL… Good one… i don’t think there are many Pakistanis who go to an Indian newspapers’ website and spend so much time on it…

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  • Rakib
    Mar 15, 2012 - 9:48AM

    @Cynical:
    “……Our forefathers didn’t convert to celebrate basant.If they wanted we would still be in the dark age, worshiping idols of a thousand gods and godesses.……”

    The precise state of mind, full of faith or fear, of the first forefather who got converted may be difficult to assert today. However,if many generations have passed by since that cataclysmic event it becomes easy to conjure up a self-congratulating pious belief. And today the heir gets so nervous of his ability to hold on to the heirloom that even the shadow of a kite in the sky would make him scared! On related note, meaning no disrespect to followers of either monotheistic or polytheistic schools of thought,the basic issue of faith is inherent in both, be they worshippers of one or of thousands.

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  • anwar
    Mar 15, 2012 - 9:56AM

    There is nothing “cultural” about flying a kite. We just found a way to make it a lethal and a gambling sport. That is objectionable!!!. Unfortunately most of us DON’T HAVE THE FOGGIEST IDEA HOW A MODERN STATE RUNS and the State must ensure that the “social terrorists” are denied this opportunity to capitalize on the “goodness of the people at large”

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  • Shah
    Mar 15, 2012 - 10:10AM

    What a shame. The ONE thing Lahore had going for itself…GONE. I remember the joy on everyone’s faces during Basant! I had friends who literally purchased 1000’s of kites at a time! The Havelis and the rooftop kite flying, mixed with the colorful kites and clothing, what a site! Now…all we have is Dengue.

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  • Shah
    Mar 15, 2012 - 10:32AM

    @waqas: THANK YOU, these very people wouldn’t even be fighting if Basant was not banned int he first place!

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  • Suresh
    Mar 15, 2012 - 11:16AM

    During spring, the nature is in full bloom and in celebration mode. Human is part of this nature, and he too joins this celebration, specially after harvesting the same nature. For HIndus nature is God, and music, dance and singing is form of worship. If some celebrate it flying kites, some do it celebrating Holi. All in all human being should not fall behind the nature in celebration, but instead become part of it by exhibiting 7 colors from nature as in rainbow, and rendering 7 musical notes sa re ga ma pa also from nature.

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  • Sattar
    Mar 15, 2012 - 11:16AM

    Plz give us all a favour and go back to the place that u were for the last 12 years…

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  • Attiya
    Mar 15, 2012 - 11:36AM

    Well done Hamid Rashid. BBB – Bring Back Basant!!!!!

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  • haroun rashid
    Mar 15, 2012 - 12:58PM

    What a lot of fruitless hot air being expended by so many Indians and Pakistanis on a simple article calling for the restoration of an ancient festival that is thoroughly enjoyed by millions of the common ‘awam,’ a class of people in whose name countless crimes, religious and secular, are committed. If illegal “dor” and equally atrocious celebratory firing by mostly illegal arms, is the only problem as a Punjab Govt minister recently claimed on TV whose job is it to control it? The Govt’s or the general public’s? To simply ban basant is a gross abdication of duty and responsibility by the Punjab Govt.

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  • Abijat
    Mar 15, 2012 - 1:40PM

    no basant no tension.there are lot of other things to do.

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  • Lt Col Imtiaz Alam(retd)
    Mar 15, 2012 - 1:51PM

    You all seem to have a one track mind.There are so many other ways you can regale yourself. Ask the person who has lost a dear one. You have no consideration of a human life. Self centered & self conceited. Goof on Hoof.

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  • Ameer
    Mar 15, 2012 - 2:17PM

    Dear @Pakistanzindabad:
    You need not apologise for @Cynical..We Indians participate in pakistani forums to interact with ppl like you with whom we can share our goodwill..

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  • omair shahid
    Mar 15, 2012 - 2:55PM

    what people are not realizing that alot of lives were taken by these chemical dors i believe that both government & people are responsible government for not taking proper action against these chemical dors makers & people for using these chemical dors the fact is that people not deserved this event.

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  • shuweikh
    Mar 15, 2012 - 3:06PM

    @Deepwater:
    the difference is that they don’t follow pagan rituals, or celebrate pagan holidays.

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  • Mar 15, 2012 - 6:16PM

    Basant is a seasonal festival that is embedded in the Indian way of life, which translated to being part of the Hindu Culture.

    I am not saying you should not celebrate it, I am merely saying celebrate it but don’t deny its pagan origins, its origins from what people call the “Hindu” Culture.

    Same goes with Yoga, along with Basant. Both are part of Pakistan’s history, but not exploited as brands because of their Hindu origins.

    People cannot claim Yoga as anything but Indian or Hindu origin so no one bothers to stand up for it, but Basant you can claim so, so the fight is on.Recommend

  • Babloo
    Mar 15, 2012 - 8:02PM

    @Bruteforce
    ‘Well you said Basant is of Indian/Hindu origin and Yoga is of Hindu origin , but what about then the Muslims of Pakistan ? Are they too not of Hindu origin or they all came from Arabia with Qasim ? So should Muslims of Pakistan of Hindu origins be banned too ?

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  • HappyFeet
    Mar 15, 2012 - 8:17PM

    regardless all the fuss about whose festival it is. Why dont you try and get an opinion from the ppl who lost their sons, husbands, brothers and fathers to this colorful event. As a principle, if a sport/festival endangers even a single innocent life… we should ban it. and the from the last 10 15 yrs of data..we can safely say that an average 15 ppl have been killed in this horrific event.

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  • Hamid Rashid
    Mar 15, 2012 - 8:30PM

    @HappyFeet by that logic, we should ban cars because drivers in Pakistan drive recklessly and end up killing innocent people; we should not argue for the reinstatement of international cricket in Pakistan as the prospect of protecting foreign teams is too tiresome; We could even ban prayer in mosques because they happen to be a target of choice for suicide bombers…To do any or all of these things would be to accept LAWLESSNESS which is not the solution to anything.

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  • Rakib
    Mar 15, 2012 - 8:32PM

    @BruteForce:

    You make some interesting points. AFAIK, no “ritual” except kite-flying & some merry making is involved in fun-time at Basant or Jashn-e-Baharaan. Safety issues apart, funny that an argument is going on here about kite-flying per se which is neither Hindu nor Muslim in its origins. It originated in China-the All Weather Friend of Pakistan! And Basant is from Sanskrit “Vasant”, name of Spring season. Quite “secular” too! Not to digress into areas theological but it must be known to any student of history of Islam that the Last Prophet in his wisdom had retained quite a few pagan survivals in the new order including in the customary law. He did not interfere with ancient elements that did not run counter to the central belief of Islam.

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  • Mar 15, 2012 - 9:42PM

    @Rakib:

    Nobody is denying Kite Flying originated in China. But, what one is saying is it is indeed a part and parcel of Indian Culture.

    Just like, say Music, which may not have its origins there but gradually, over time, with repeated use, becomes part of one’s culture.

    Indian Film Industry glorifies Kite-Flying. There are songs and dances based on this. Pakistan has to chose where it belongs.

    And, argue something without invoking the Quran and Islam, will you? What purpose does it serve? You play into the hands of the Mullahs, who know it better than you. They certainly have a completely different interpretation than you do.

    Culture is something concrete, as opposed to Religious ideas. Indian Muslims too enjoy kite flying, it doesn’t interfere with their culture. Because the society they grew up in is one such that. Had the same bunch grown up in Pakistan, few of them would have turned towards extremism.

    We sure know what the spiritual difference between the two societies are.

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  • Questioner
    Mar 15, 2012 - 11:08PM

    Let’s keep religion out of this. Perhaps you don’t remember those pictures published in newspapers about the children throats, or perhaps you are lucky one on whom the ‘dour’ did not fell while riding a bike.
    @Hamid Rashid, cars do get banned when they don’t have proper equipment. Fireworks also got banned, one can argue that they could also be safely handled. Problem is there is no way to make sure this ‘safe’ equipment in case of kites.
    If you can propose a better way to control the deathly effects this festival brings without banning it, please share with us. Because I will love to see all the colors in the sky and people standing on the roof, sense of joy and festival, but not at the cost of gutted voice boxes and road accidents.

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  • HappyFeet
    Mar 15, 2012 - 11:13PM

    @HamidRashid
    :) .. i knew someone would come with that flawed logic. traveling through cars is not a festival. its a need.
    More to the point, if no country would like to come to pakistan to play cricket, just because it gets innocent lives in danger.. may be we should get a hint :).. and not indulge in festivities which could prove to be a cutthroat island for the poor guys riding on bikes.
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  • Dionysus
    Mar 16, 2012 - 4:08AM

    @Cynical

    Lol wut? It’s like an American complaining about immigrants! Arabia was full of idol-worshiping tribes until 6th century.

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  • Ammar
    Mar 16, 2012 - 9:13AM

    Lahore is a 5th world country. Our people are more than just poor, they are destitute. People are dying every day from hunger, disease, etc. Whats a few more people dying from kite string? Especially if the festival offsets those deaths economically by pumping more money into the pockets of our poor Pakistani’s selling kites, etc. I think 10-15 people a year dying from kite string is a small price to pay for millions of peoples happiness. PAKISTAN HAS NOTHING.

    There ARE solutions for safety:

    1) DON’T GO OUT DURING BASANT

    2) Remember all those motorcycles that had long plastic sticks attached to the front in order to avoid kite string? Brilliant, if u ask me!

    3) STAY HOME AND READ A BOOK

    4) Don’t leave your children unsupervised

    5) STAY HOME if your paranoid that kite string might cut your throat

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  • Fauzia Mussarat
    Mar 16, 2012 - 12:02PM

    Has “Banning of Basant” been damaging? Or The use of “Killer Strings” been damaging?

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  • Critical Thinker
    Mar 16, 2012 - 12:39PM

    What a loss, on so many levels. Only a few years back a friend from Lahore was telling me how the city was the center of the action. Many more years back I remember just the simple pleasure of flying kites…win a few, lose a few…if you know what I mean.

    To those who are concerned about the origins of the festival?

    Perhaps that is the very reason it should have been protected.

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  • omair shahid
    Mar 16, 2012 - 3:41PM

    Fact is people including me dont want to change every one wants to use this chemical durs every one doesn’t wants to follow rules because this is pakistan where every thing is possible
    we should realize this we need to change our self first yes i agree government is not doing anything but than again what are we going.

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  • Questioner
    Mar 17, 2012 - 2:16AM

    @Ammar
    ” think 10-15 people a year dying from kite string is a small price to pay for millions of peoples happiness” Bravo man, bravo!
    one can answer the points after your paragraph, but man I am just amazed by your point of view,
    Because they are poor so what if we few of them are killed today rather than dying tomorrow.
    Amazing, quite impressed.
    Lets remove the safety restrictions at the work places, make the manufacturing cheep, what if few of workers die. Lets allow fireworks and in-air-shooting and remove all the safety measures that stifle the economic growth, only few people die, so what they will die any way.

    To be fair, your points (bulleted one) after that were much more sensible, but really can’t get past your logic of few people. Who defines few, 10, 15, 100? Just wish one that forms this statistics is not the one near and dear to you.Recommend

  • Adil
    Mar 17, 2012 - 4:00AM

    Apart from extremist vs liberal debate, I guess there is yet another angle that needs to be checked when it comes to Basant. There is a constant atmosphere and attitude of Punjab phobia too since many nationalists may target the festival saying that Lahoris/Punjabis simply care about Lahore and Punjabi culture and have got no time to think about issues present in other regions. I myself have seen certain number of non-Punjabis that criticize the festival saying that they waste so much money on it and show no feeling of sympathy and solidarity with the people living in other parts of Pakistan,they simply continued with the festival when army was killing people in East Pakistan,they ignored the dead bodies in Balochistan and Sindh due to military operation and carried on with Basant and so on…..I myself am not a Punjabi. Nobody denies the historical significance of the festival but in my opinion people of other areas of Pakistan could easily raise questions given the attitude of blaming Punjabi Establishment and huge amount of money being spent on the festival without any economic gain….So clarification and discussions may also help.

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  • Ammar
    Mar 17, 2012 - 10:45AM

    @Questioner: I am a realist. I like to live in reality. People die. Reality bites. Accept it.

    “Lets remove the safety restrictions at the work places, make the manufacturing cheep, what if few of workers die. Lets allow fireworks and in-air-shooting and remove all the safety measures that stifle the economic growth, only few people die, so what they will die any way.”

    All of this is ALREADY allowed isn’t it, this is Pakistan after all!

    My only point was: The Pakistani people dye for much stupider reasons than kite string, believe it or not.

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  • Hamid Rashid
    Mar 17, 2012 - 2:25PM

    for all in favour of basant – Congrats the SC just lifted the ban.

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  • Shah
    Mar 17, 2012 - 3:07PM

    Well well well!!! “Supreme Court chucks out Ban, rules KITES WILL FLY!”

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/350957/supreme-court-chucks-out-ban-rules-kites-will-fly/

    BBB!!! BRING BACK BASANT FOR LIFE!

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  • Prabhjyot Singh Madan
    Mar 17, 2012 - 3:44PM

    What to expect ? West punjabis are their own worst enemies.Urdu reign supreme in punjab. The Punjabi language is nearly extinct there in written form. Punjabiat has been forsaken there. Amongst all the provinces in pakistan, punjabis have least bit pride in their Punjabi literature and culture.So, the banning of kites is tolerated there. East punjab is flourishing and basant is enjoyed here. Rash driving also kills, so please ban cars too. At least the pollution level will fall down. No wonder, there is demand to divide punjab into more provinces. Sindhis are much more better at protecting their culture. Waheguru, save the land which produced poets and saints like bulley shah, baba farid and guru Nanak. Sat Sri akal, salam, peace. Take care allRecommend

  • Agnivesh
    Mar 17, 2012 - 8:34PM

    @Hamid Rashid:
    Agree with you. Lahore can mint money if it allows Basant tourism, even for a few days.

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  • vaqas
    Mar 17, 2012 - 9:26PM

    @yousaf:
    By that logic im about to ban muharram, because its not only self mutilating and gory, it gives the zealots on the other end of the spectrum a chance to bomb some 6 year old infidels. While im at it ill ban eid too, because there is not a comparison of the gun firing that the country witnesses in eid in comparison to poor basant. The fact of the matter is that these events will not be banned because they got some heavy weights backing them. And poor basant is just a festival clung on to for dear life for the lack of interesting activities in this much deprived country. So what we need to learn is tolerance and learn how to have clean good fun. You want to ban things ban the throat cutting strings. Bam display of arms and firing. Promote love and acceptance. Peace.

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  • mudassir
    Mar 25, 2012 - 2:16AM

    i was so much passionate kite lover and kite flayer … but life is much more precious … but still i think in parks this could have been made rather completely banning … like here in capital park in ibd we have zero accident in many years … coz controling ^& monitoring is 100 percent made possible … no fall risk and others ….

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