HEC bans celebration of Holi in universities

HEC bans celebration of Holi in universities

HEC on celebration of Holi in universities

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) in a recent notification has directed all universities not to celebrate events that are incompatible with the country’s identity and societal values, the notification was issued after students of Quaid I Azam University (QAU) celebrated Holi on June 13.

According to a notification issued by Acting Executive Director HEC Shaista Sohail dated June 20, available with Academia Magazine, “The higher education institutions may prudently distance themselves from all such activities obviously incompatible with the country’s identity and societal values, while ensuring that they rigorously engage their students and faculty in academic pursuits, intellectual debates and cognitive learning besides identifying, creating and fostering avenues for extra-curricular activities and rational discourse.”

“Unfortunately, it is sad to witness activities that portray a complete disconnect from our sociocultural values and an erosion of the country’s Islamic identity. One such instance that has caused concern was the fervor exhibited in making the Hindu festival of Holi. This widely reported/publicized event from the platform of a university has caused concern and has disadvantageously affected the country’s image,” the letter added.

While there is no denying the fact that cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity leads toward an inclusive and tolerant society, that profoundly respects all faiths and creeds; albeit it needs to be done so in a measured manner without going overboard. The students need to be apprised to be aware of the self-serving vested interests who use them for their own ends far from the altruistic critical thinking paradigm,” the HEC letter said.

The Holi Festival at QAU was organized by the Mehran Students Council (MSC) while five other students councils, including Punjab Students Council, Pashtoon Students Council, Saraiki Students Council, Baloch Students Council and Gilgit Student Council, participated in the festival that was organized by the parking area located between International Relations and Anthropology departments.

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