Basant and the Colors of Spring

on 2, Mar 2012 | 7 Comments | in Category: Hyde-Park

Faiza Hai

Faiza Hai

bas

Admit it or not, Basant is still one of the seasonal festival celebrated across almost all the cities in Pakistan. However, it is the historic city of Lahore that happens to be the centre of the celebrations and thus holds a unique importance in the affair. People from all over Pakistan make it to Lahore to enjoy Basant in its true spirits. The ‘Kite festival’ is indeed a festival replete with hues and colors, in which people also choose to wear bright yellow and vibrant green colors to be a part of the colors of spring.

 

 

Everywhere people look attired and adorned in a palette of colors. Despite severe criticism raised on it over years, people still like to celebrate it with all the zest and energy. The busy and hectic life of the modern city comes to a halt, and the zealous festivities keep them hooked up on their roof tops. Also, it helps more like a therapy in reviving a new spirit to rejuvinate the upset hearts, and so to add all the vitality and energy to the life of people ridden with political instability and strife.

 

 

We can make it a safe festival by adding some novel elements to make it a safe. There should be a ban on the motorcyclists on Saturday and Sunday evenings, for a majority of accidents and deaths have been reportedly of motorcyclists and especially those who travel without halmets. Secondly, according to a survey, there are two companies manufacturing these dangerous strings that threaten life. The issue is definitely not kite-flying or the festival; it’s the deadly string that amputates anything it comes in contact. So, the manufacturers should be made accountable and their activities relinquished.

 

 

For Lahore, Basant correlates to an amazing and significant boost to the economy and a way to place Lahore proud on the cultural map of the world. India has been trying to adapt the festival for several years now, however, the truth is Basant is essentially a Lahori tradition that runs in their blood of Lahoris. This is one festival people enjoy irrespective of the suffocating fetters of social or economic class. It costs the government almost nothing and still yields massive revenue. The government should announce for Basant in advance so that people from all over the world can make plans and take care of the security arrangements.

 

 

The ban on Basant is a great cultural loss to Lahore and to Pakistan, in general. Basant is way to show the world that Pakistan is more than a dark, squalid playground of terrorists. The Punjab government and the inept Tourism Department need to stop wasting public money and invest in proper Basant celebrations. Pakistan can use Basant as an event to improve cross-border relations, invite actors and singers, promote sale of our regional crafts, to hold exhibitions and most importantly, to give out a strong peace statement.



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  • M.Saeed

    No wonder, our elders learned from experience and termed Basant a “Satanic Game”!
    Kite flying has become hazardous because of it being gravely prone to accidents. Be it a fall from the roof edge, accident on road in blind pursuit of a free-falling kites lost in kite dog-fights, or the the dreaded throat-cuts with metal or glass lined strings, the end result is loss of lives just for extra kicks going beyond limits.

    If we are sensible enough to ensure safety of all, there is no harm in celebrating Basant but as we are, we take pride in breaking rules. Even our politicians and leaders indulge in frequent firing in air in jubilation after a political victory and often hit and kill the onlookers.

    If those who are empowered to make rule, start violating them first, who to get saftey assurance from for a mere kite-flying festival?

  • Farooq M.Hashmi

    If any one with a warped mind kills a person with a kitchen-knife should a vegetable-cutter stop using knives in a scullery?If a ferry-man is devoured up by the berserk waves of a river should his descendants abandon the ferrying profession which brings bread and butter to their dinner table?Since,most of people breathe their last in their beds,should human-being start sleeping on floors instead of in their beds?Of course,the answer to these questions is in the negative.The same is true of Basant.Irrefutably,some fatal incidents have occurred in the past in the celebration of Basant,but to lay the charge of them exclusively on the festival of Basant,is backed neither by the rules of fair-play nor sagacity.The culprit of those gruesome ill-fated incidents is no way,the benign festival of Basant but the government which has,for the reasons unknown,constantly been conniving at the unrestrained use of the prohibited emery-coated string and the illegal gun-firing by the unruly frenzied revelers with the consequence of the loss of innocent precious lives,inclusive of those who had resorted to disorderly boisterous merry-making.Since the times of antiquity setting in of the spring season has been celebrated in one way or the other, in every civilization of the world.For instance,if we go back to the Classical Mythology we find the return of Adonis from the lower-world goddess,Persephone to the upper-world goddess,Aphrodite,transmuted into vegetation and flora including anemones and roses,etc.In many parts of the sub-Continent the festival of Basant heralds the beginning of the the spring season.The word,’Basant is a distorted form of the Sanskrit word,’vasanta’ which means ‘spring’.In Hindu faith,celebration of Basant is welded to the deity of Saraswati and on the day of the Basant festival devout Hindus,clad in saffron and orange color outfits visit the Saraswati temples.This festival is celebrated in the months of January and February,on the fifth day of the waxing moon.In Punjab,especially in the vivacious metropolitan city of Lahore,it has been celebrated with a humongous fanfare in the shape of kite-flying till was banned with one stroke of pen a few years ago.People used to await the Basant day all through the year so that they could slacken the stress and strain in their lives through kite-flying, but it is a pity that this fascinating festival has fallen a prey to the whim of the government as well as the pseudo-religiosity of the pseudo-Islamists.The force at which Punjab’s pristine culture is being strangled,it is feared that in few years henceforth,it will be thing of the past.

  • NASAH

    Pakistanis are such sour puss killjoys — banning such ancestral centuries old happy festivals like Basant and kite flying — why because the dour children of Abdul Wahab don’t do it?

    May be they don’t even like to sing raga Basant Bahar for the fear of messing up their hearing.

    Pathetic.

  • Naqqashgg

    it is not our culture

  • Farooq M.Hashmi

    Naqqashgg, I wonder you are hushed these days. It’s looks likely that you are struggling to find the roots of “your” culture in that of the Middle Eastern people.Am I right?

  • M.Saeed

    Basant is a colourful Punjabi festival historically celebrated at the beginning of spring season. In India it is being celebrated since ages and is also called Vasant Panchami, which means the first day of spring. Traditionally, during this festival children are taught to write their first words and Hindus worship their god of love. People from all over India feel the purity of life and enjoy its pleasures to what ever extent possible.
    It would be of interest to know that, Amir Khusro had composed several songs on Basant and Nizamuddin Auliya used to join him in celebrating “Basant of Sufis”.

  • Farooq M.Hashmi

    The same old soup boiled over again!

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