Hearts bleed for Lahore, writers condemn Easter Sunday Pak blasts
The name of the city of Lahore, hailed as the Paris of Asia before the Partition of the sub-continent, is drawn into a blood-red heart in a moving calligraphy with the caption: ‘I am Lahore’. This is the visual on the Facebook timeline of Salil Tripathi, chair, PEN International’s committee for Writers in Prison.punjab Updated: Mar 29, 2016 13:19 IST
The name of the city of Lahore, hailed as the Paris of Asia before the Partition of the sub-continent, is drawn into a blood-red heart in a moving calligraphy with the caption: ‘I am Lahore’. This is the visual on the Facebook timeline of Salil Tripathi, chair, PEN International’s committee for Writers in Prison.
Indian and Pakistani writers shared the grief of those families ripped apart by the blast at the ancient city’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal park where Christian families had gathered to celebrate Easter Sunday. The victims were mostly children and women. A sad way for the innocent to learn that Easter Sunday is not only about new beginnings, sugary eggs and celebrations; it can mean bombs, death and grief.
The timeline of Punjab Trinjan, a literary site from Lahore on Facebook, has a photograph of a glazed Italian sculpture ‘The Lamentation the Dead Christ’ (circa 1510) clicked by London-based Punjabi poet Amarjit Chandan with the heart-rending message: ‘Punjabi Maseehi Biradri nu Easter Mubarak: Zindagi, Mohabbat, Rehmat te Aman da dihaRha (greetings to the Punjabi Christians on Easter: A day of Life, Love, Blessings and Peace!)!’
Sufi singer Madan Gopal Singh has Lahore inscribed in big black letters on his Facebook page and a couplet by Ghalib is invoked to underline the grave tragedy: ‘Ibn-e- Mariam Hua Kare koi/Mere dukh ki dawa Kare koi (Needless to me the miracles of Christ, Unlesss someone heals my pain)’.
While many on both sides of the borders are joining in prayers for the victims, there are those who are asking for more. Lahore-based writer and singer Ali Sethi says: “To Pakistanis praying for Lahore blast victims: Your prayers are not enough. Please admit this is a monster created by Pakistan’s military in collusion with its politicians, judges, clerics and media houses. Please stop asking, ‘But who would do such a thing?’ Please remember Generals Zia, Hameed Gul and Aslam Beg in your prayers!”
Pakistani writer Fauzia Rafique, living in Canada, has also called for condemnation of the hateful religious ideology instead of prayer.
Chandigarh’s Poonam Singh, editor, Preetlari, whose husband Sumit Singh was killed by militants in Punjab, pens in horror: ‘Lahore Park Easter Bomb Blast! Bahut bahut bahut Galat!!!!! Ohhh!!’