The Moharram Tragedy

At 4:20 pm today there was a bomb blast in the city as the Main Ashura procession was passing at M.A.Jinnah Road. Till now almost 20 people, and around 50 people have been injured.

Till yesterday under this very heading I was going to write with a different perspective, that can be summed up as below.

It has always been astonishing to me that people usually don’t care about having their voice heard. They don’t come out when the country is going through a crisis, like when the democratic government was toppled by a military General who would live up to the term “dictator”.

But every year people would come on to the streets every Moharram and perform their religious acts with such dedications- sometimes crossing over to the point of barbarity. This was explained to me by my friends in more or less these words

This is an act of piety, we mourn the death of our Imam and his followers who lost their lives fighting the evil that was Yazid. This procession every year is a sort of symbolic act which is meant to say that we are here against any Yazid that would rise today. We mean to show that we have power in our numbers, and every year you can see the wave of men and women who come out to warn anyone who would dare strike the innocent.

Now I am all for religious independence and I have many friends who are Shia and I respect their believes tremendously. But I think most of the people have engaged themselves too much literally to the concept.. Shouldn’t the point be to rise and come out in the streets against the wrong? And not just in Moharram? Where are all these people year long when so much wrong is going on in the world which is wrong?

The symbolism of the Ashura Procession

I dont mean to sound Prejudce and therefore I should say that it is not only the tragedy of one sect but of all of us. We all take religion literally, when I hardly think that it is the reasonable approach because most of the religion is not literal . There is symbolism and meaning between the lines.

Today, after hearing the news of the blast, I am going to change my perspective a bit, and say the following, that it is certainly very courageous for people to go out year after year knowing the possibility that is out there, knowing that each year after year there is a chance that there is going to a blast. Even as I type this, there are people who are out there on the streets who are continuing with the Moharram Procession.

I still agree with what I said earlier, but I think that now I am forced to look at it from a very different angle too. It is not just religious fervor, but it is also courageous, and takes a lot of strength a domain in which you know the chances are that you wont come back .

Now I know that these are all words, and I know that words can only make one wonder, and not much more than that. But in my words today I would like to condemn yet another bomb blast in the country, which made so many people lost their lives. And I am thankful to the power that be that my friends are alive one more day.

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