Pakistan is a country that always manages to find itself in a dilemma. As the news is floating that a Pakistani lawyer Javed Iqbal Jaffrey has filed a petition in the Lahore High Court on Monday demanding that the government brings back a 5,000-year-old bronze statue called ‘Dancing Girl’ from India one wonders what would happen if it does come back.
The statue is 10.5 cms high and dates back to 2500 BC and was discovered in 1926 from Mohenjodaro, Sindh which was then the part of the undivided India, and the lawyer says that the Dancing Girl statue is the property of the Lahore Museum and was taken away around 60 years back by the National Arts Council, Delhi.
There are talks of heritage and a lot more but then there is a problem.
In Pakistan, dance is anti-Islamic so where does the Dancing Girl fit in this?
PTI, the party led by popular Pakistani leader Imran Khan, sees ‘teaching dance’ in school technically wrong as it is against the Islamic principles.
Khurrum Sher Zaman who is from the Clifton constituency (PS-112) has written a letter to the Sindh minister for education and literacy, Jam Mehtab Dahar, on Sept 21, 2016 and wrote that the minister must give due attention to dance classes made “part of the curriculum in private schools” which he felt should not be held in schools as the dance is against Islamic principles and Pakistan is an Islamic republic.
In the letter, he states:
I kindly request that you look into this matter and take appropriate action in accordance with Islamic principles and injunctions that are protected and advocated in our constitution.
The question that Pakistan should worry first is that first it is pining for a statue which is against Islamic principles and then the statue in question is that of a nude Dancing girl.
So how come is it that dance is against the Islamic principles but the statue is worth bringing home? With such radicalism prevalent in mainstream Pakistan, who would ensure that this rare artifact will not be melted or broken by the powerful zealots in the nation? The destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha is etched in our minds. Should we risk something that is essentially part of a civilization that believed in making statues by sending it to Pakistan which has decided to devote itself to the Islamic principles?
Dancing Girl of Mohenjo-daro is an ‘intellectual treasure of the mankind
In India, the statue has remained safe for 60-years with Pakistan never bothering to bring it back and the reason is that the appearance of the statue would hurt the sentiments of the majority. So what is the solution? Pakistan can make an exception and bring the Dancing Girl, but then is it willing to gulp down the fact that this land once housed those who made statues like these and that they were the ancestors of modern day Pakistanis? The debate is on, let us see what the Pakistanis have to say on that but clearly without providing protection to the statue sending it back to Pakistan could be hazardous for the Dancing Girl of Mohenjo-daro.