In a disconcerting turn of events, an FIR has been lodged against two teachers and more than 10 students at Sindh University, Jamshoro. The establishment has put allegations that they were involved in terrorism. But, in reality they have been accused because of participating in the celebration of Sindhi Cultural Day. This incident has triggered widespread concerns regarding the limitations imposed on Sindhis in freely commemorating and embracing their cultural heritage. The establishment is not only resisting the celebration of different cultures but also imposing an accusation of terrorism upon them.
The filing of charges against educators and students of Sindh University for engaging in cultural festivities highlights a distressing pattern of suppressing Sindhi cultural expression. It raises pertinent questions about the extent to which cultural freedoms are permitted within Pakistan. This development has evoked strong reactions from various quarters, with individuals and groups condemning the stifling of cultural festivities and emphasizing the fundamental right of every community to celebrate and preserve its heritage without fear of persecution.
The incident yet again highlights how religious diversity is under threat in Pakistan. Last time, such an atrocious action was taken for the celebration of Holi by the Sindhis. Then also, the university and higher education departments took action against those who celebrated the festival of colours. The Higher Education Commission, at that time, banned the celebration of festivals citing the reason that such celebrations “erode the Islamic identity” of the country.