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.