The hue and cry raised by a certain section of the society on the recent banning of Basant by the Lahore High Court compels me to bring forward my point of view.
These people mourn for the loss of a cultural event which attracted thousands of foreigners from all over the world. In the prevailing geopolitical situation, I hardly think that a bunch of colorful kites would be able to lure an already fear stricken foreigner to a death trap. Moreover this cultural loss might be a matter of concern for a handful of socialites and five star hotels but not for the common man.
It saddened me to read the post Sir, we can’t control this. “Then ban it” where the blogger citing reasons for the ban on Basant writes, “The reasons quoted were not many – two in fact, one being the loss to human life and the other being disruption in WAPDA’s electricity supply causing monetary loss”, as if these two reasons are not good enough. The blogger goes on to write, “The ban on Basant is silly. Loss of life and loss of the ever-so-present WAPDA supply are not reasons at all. And here’s why: the loss of life is not because the kite-flying itself is dangerous. Kite-flying has been around for quite some time. The murderous streak now automatically tagged with basant itself, has been introduced through the development of stronger string”.
Stronger string or not, if kite-flying has been around for quite sometime then so are the deaths related to this festival. Why do we forget hundreds of innocent lives lost which are not related to the killer string but are still a part and parcel of this event? We can try to get scot-free by saying that if someone is run over by a car or falls from a roof top then it is his own fault but can we blame a poor boy for running after the kites which we so lavishly shower just because he too wants to have his share of fun; or can we blame a child for falling off his roof because his father didn’t have enough money to build proper railing around the roof. Our politicians, so eager to climb up on their roofs might not be so hungry for such an amusement if God forbid it was one of their own who had lost his life to this blood thirsty event.
We would view this entertainment very differently and the ban would not look silly anymore if our own child had to run on the roads to grab a kite!
Coming to the ingenious solutions provided by the advocates of Basant. Yes, you may ban motorbikes and bicycles for two days but have we ever thought that for some people that is the only way of transportation and in case an emergency arises it is their only way out. Secondly you may also ban the deadly string but is it administratively possible to keep a check on such a large scale?
With all due respect to everyone’s viewpoint, I am of the opinion that even if one life is lost due to Basant, it is certainly not worth it.