When Politics and Religion mix, – “Our Holy Prophet fought wars, and there was politics in Islam since the very beginning. How can you separate it now?” With that question, Mohammad Saeed Kalmati Baloch opened a debate on whether, and how, religion can be separated from the state.
Added a listener at the Sunday plenary discussion on politics and religion: “Pakistan was created on the basis of Islam, Islam and politics have always gone together, we can’t change that.”
But several performances addressed areas where religion and culture curtailed rights. A shadow theatre show by the Aagahi group, called “To my son whom I could not give birth to’, portrayed the life of a woman and spoke of all the ills committed by society against her. “This treatment of women is usually seen in marriages arranged by family”, said Farooq Ayaz, who holds a degree in sociology, “People in our society are averse to the idea of love marriages due to the teachings of the clergy, who consider a sin.”
A Palestinian group headed by Jamal Jumma gave a message of resistance through poetry and music. As all danced and clapped to the rhythm, it proved that another world was truly possible if only we played our part right. R Chintamani.
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