Basant in Pakistan: Another Politics is Possible
By Arshad Alam for New Age Islam
December 18, 2013
It is rare these days for good news to come from Pakistan. All that we hear about this country is underwritten by violence: between Shias and Sunnis, Deobandis and Barelvis, Muhajirs and so called ‘original’ Pakistanis. Of late, visible violence against women has increased and so has the attacks against religious minorities like Christians. So it was refreshing to read that Bilawal Bhutto plans to organize Basant festival in Sindh. So far this young Bhutto has not shown any political maturity which might make him into a sound leader which is sorely lacking in Pakistan. But through his courageous intention to revive Basant, Bilawal seems to be inaugurating a new language in the politics of Pakistan. And the best part about this language is that it indigenous to Pakistan: as compared to Malala’s voice becoming the voice of Europeans then being thrust upon the Pakistanis to tell them how backward they were, here is a voice which is authentically rooted in the cultural matrix of Pakistan and who is trying to revive a pluralistic cultural from the clutches monochromatic mullahs.