Amna Mawaz, A Classical Dancer In Local Polity

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.

  • Kamath.

    Beautiful- dancer, dance form,poise, rhythm and beautiful but hard struggle to keep classical dance alive. Everything is beautiful…..

  • Kamath.

    Hey, don’t view my remarks from a nationalistic of religious lense. This dance pose is either from Bharata-Nathan or Odissi school. There is bit of inspiration from Kathak too. Any comments from any body?

  • Kamath.

    Typo: it should be “Bharata Natyam”. The beautiful dance form is straight from South Indian classical dance school.

  • saadhafiz

    Kamath: She gets my vote…

  • hellfire

    The stance of the hardliner talibans is that any sort of dancing, kite flying, singing leads to sexual promiscuity and therefore needs to be banned. how sad. the human spirit requires song and dance. and art. all things that hardliners destroy. kudos to this brave, graceful lady who has much in common with Malala, the much reviled child who wants nothing mor than an education.

  • Nobody

    The “stance” of the Taliban is what the CIA taught them via University of Nebraska indoctrination literature, whereas the stance of the right wing Christianists involves chastity belts and segregation between men and women, snake charming and “speaking in tongues”- that is not borrowed from the CIA and its political expediency for the purpose of profit making. Is khabees key awwlaad hellfire key naam sey he pata chalta hey key yeh butcher of civilians via drones ka himayati hey, takes some ugly ass immorality to name yourself after a civilian butchering mass murdering missile. Vlad should put a couple up his ass.

  • hellfire

    Of course we have “nobodies” and masadis blaming the evil empire of the west for shutting down the arts…how expected of these pathetic apologist, excuse making trolls. Banning the arts, dancing and the like of course has its roots in right wing Christian snake charming! what a laugh! Although I must say that masadis newly born alternate personality is an improvement…aptly named and far less prone to obscenity laced rants. keep it up dude. watch the movie “Sybil”…she will be able to provide you with pointers on multiple personas.

  • Kamath.

    Dear author, the Ahmed Karim:
    I was waiting to hear directly from you and others to know more about “classical dance” in Pakistan. Could you kindly tell me more about its history, leading teachers and school of tradition, etc. Who else are the classical dancers?
    It is my impression that the poses and the form look very in-Islamic . Why?

    Would appreciate your response.

  • Pingback: The Neglected Land | Pak Tea House United States WordPress Unknow Os ()