'Erosion Of Country's Islamic Identity': Pakistan's Higher Education Commission Bans Holi Celebrations In Universities

'Erosion Of Country's Islamic Identity': Pakistan's Higher Education Commission Bans Holi Celebrations In Universities

"The students need to be apprised to be aware of the self-serving vested interests who use them for their own ends far from the altruistic critical thinking paradigm."

FPJ Education DeskUpdated: Wednesday, June 21, 2023, 01:15 PM IST
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Holi celebration pictures from Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad |

Islamabad: Pakistan's Higher Education Commission on Tuesday issued a notice banning the celebration of Holi in any of the university campuses across the country. The commission mentioned students are forbidden to follow this festival in order to adhere "sociocultural values." Such activities portray a complete disconnect from country's sociocultural values and are an erosion of the country's Islamic identity, read the statement.

The outrageous notice said the celebrations "widely reported/publicized event from the platform of a university has caused concern and has disadvantageously affected the country's image".

The notice reads as, "While there is no denying the fact that cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity leads towards an inclusive and tolerant society, that profoundly respects all faiths and creeds; albeit it needs to be done so in a measured manner without going overboard. The students need to be apprised to be aware of the self-serving vested interests who use them for their own ends far from the altruistic critical thinking paradigm."

The Commission declared a ban on the Holi celebrations in campus and advised the students to refrain themselves from conducting such events.

"Foregoing in view, it is advised that the HEls may prudently distance themselves from all such activities obviously incompatible with the country's identity and societal values, while ensuring that they rigorously engage their students and faculty in academic pursuits, intellectual debates, and cognitive learning besides identifying, creating, and fostering avenues for extra-curricular activities and rational discourse," said the statement.

Read the full statement here:

Videos of Holi Celebrations went viral

This notice comes after several videos of Holi celebrations at the Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad went viral on social media. The event on June 12 was claimed to be one of the biggest holi celebrations in the country. Students can be seen playing with colours and enjoying celebrations in the college campus with great enthusiasm. However, Holi is originally celebrated in the month of March.

'Islamabad must understand that Holi/Diwali is part of the Sindhi culture'

"Welcome to Pakistan where our ancient Holi festival is banned in universities. HEC has issued an announcement after students celebrated Holi. Islamabad must understand that Holi/Diwali is part of the Sindhi culture β€”Islamabad neither accepts our Sindhi language nor does it honor the Hindu festivals. Let's see the champion of Human Rights politicians, especially Mr. Bilawal Bhutto who keeps pointing finger at others and lecturing on Islamophobia. Will he and others oppose it?," tweeted Pakistani journalist Veena.

Festivals like Holi and Diwali are an integral part of the Sindh culture. The Pakistan Sindh Province is the second-largest province by population after Punjab. Hence, such a ban on festival celebrations can affect adversely on the minds of the population residing in the region.

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