Tuesday, March 02, 2010
KARACHI: The Hindus of Sindh confined the celebration of their religious festival Holi and Rangoli to limited places amid fears of religious riots, a very rare situation in Sindh, where the teachings of Sufism of love and peace have been the dominating force for centuries.
In the past, Hindu residents of Umerkot, Tharparkar and Sanghar districts, where the majority of Hindus in Pakistan live, always celebrated the colourful festival of Holi at a mass level, but this year, most of them refrained from moving beyond certain places for their celebration.
This step was taken on voluntary basis as a precautionary measure as the Hindus had in mind the religious riots that erupted last year in Umerkot town, where officially 43 percent of the total Hindus of Sindh reside.
Although, government authorities took control of the district and stopped the riots, a cold war started between the Muslim and Hindu communities.
He said this year Muslims celebrated Eid Miladun Nabi just two days before Holi and hoisted their flags and banners carrying the holy names. Therefore, Hindus have selected deserted places so that colours don’t get accidentally splashed on these flags and banners.
Holi, a Hindu festival, falls on the full moon of Phagun (a month of Hindu calendar) and is observed to celebrate the death of a cruel king who had killed several people.
On the night of the festival young men and women perform Dandiya (bamboo stick) and on next day, colours are thrown at each other to express the happiness of the festival.
“The people of Sindh never had a tendency towards extremism, but some miscreants are trying to start war between Muslims and Hindus and, but we are sure that our Muslim brothers would never allow them to succeed in their nefarious designs,” said Pakistan Hindu Foundation (PHF) President DM Maharaj.