By Ahmad Karim
To love art is a difficult thing. Basically it demands an inside eye to apprehend the transcendence of ideas/imaginations. And the one who is an artist go through traversed galaxies of imaginations which not only introduces her to eternal nature of being but also invite her to infinite memories. They’re always aloof from multitude.
But the news of Amna Mawaz, a classical dancer dwelling in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad, that she is contesting for vice chairman seat in capital’s local bodies elections, not only baffled me but also made me rapturous.
I was flummoxed because it’s rare that some female artist contest in Pakistan’s politics and wad ecstatic that a classical dancer has taken an audacious gumption. She is young and campaigning door to door with a vision to promote arts. In an interview, she said “I’ve decided to take to this initiative to let people aware of the beauty of arts and culture.” “I want to tell people that art is peace and which nation is distant from arts is more prone to destruction.”
Well I guess she is spot on. The day we as a state divorced arts/culture is the day we’d taken first step towards disgrace.
Why don’t the residents of Islamabad take a bold step too? A step toward arts. A step toward peace. Toward happiness. But the stereotyping of this profession and some fanatic clerics can bar her try of being a change catalyst/agent.
The fate of this nation is/must not in the hands of fanatic clerics and ill-informed multitude but in the hands of this nation. They need to decide what they really want. If they want to live the same way they lived for decades, in misery and hate, or they want a prosperous Pakistan? A Pakistan where mental peace is sustained, where suspicious perceptions are eliminated.
Oh she is a woman too. Now the chances are bleaker. But who made it bleak? Clerics put it like it’s a sin (gunah) to vote a woman. Preferring her on our candidate will be a bigger sin (gunah-e-kabira). The political gung-ho put as her character is loose. They can never handle violent/difficult t apprehend people for variant issues like we, men, can. It’s in the nature.
Now decide you. Where is Quran that a woman cannot be a part of executive? Or where in Quran that one should prefer a bad man over a good woman? Is the political gung-ho not aware how an important role Fatima Jinnah played in the making of Pakistan? The answer lies in her suspicious death and how her dead body was treated/managed.
Amna is a peaceful character. Her art is her name. Her idea is pushy and encouraging for those who are shy, shy of this nonsense.
By the way it’s been a while that I dreamt at Peeru’s. It was a bomb blast at its theatre that made the place insulated. A few but visit regularly. Alhamra somehow outmoded.
This moribund arts sense is deadly folks.