Pakistan has recently implemented a ban on the celebration of Holi and other Hindu festivals across educational institutions in the country. The decision was made to protect what the government considers to be the eroding Islamic identity of the nation. The ban was issued by the Higher Education Commission in Islamabad following the emergence of a video on social media showing students at a university in Islamabad celebrating Holi.
Video of Holi Celebration Sparks Concern
The video, captioned “Holi celebrations in Quaid-I-Azam University Islamabad, Pakistan. Biggest Holi celebration in Pakistan,” showcased hundreds of students dancing and enjoying the festival on the university campus. The event was organized by the Mehran Students’ Council. The Higher Education Commission expressed its sadness at witnessing activities that it believes are disconnected from the country’s socio-cultural values and detrimental to its Islamic identity.
Concerns about Pakistan’s Image and Societal Values
The notice issued by the Higher Education Commission highlighted the concern surrounding the Holi celebration and its negative impact on Pakistan’s image. It emphasized the need for a measured approach to cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity that respects all faiths and creeds while maintaining the country’s identity. The commission expressed the importance of raising awareness among students about the ulterior motives of those who exploit them for personal gain, rather than promoting genuine critical thinking and inclusivity.
Prudent Distance and Focus on Academic Pursuits
The notice advised higher educational institutions to distance themselves from activities deemed incompatible with Pakistan’s identity. It encouraged universities to prioritize academic pursuits, intellectual debates, and cognitive learning among students and faculty. While acknowledging the value of extra-curricular activities and rational discourse, the commission urged a cautious approach to ensure that they align with the country’s societal values.
- Shehbaz Sharif is the prime minister of Pakistan
- It is the world’s fifth-most populous country
- It is the world’s second-largest Muslim population, just behind Indonesia