Wednesday, July 27, 2011
This is apropos of a recent report in the press which stated that the relics of Waris Shah Hujra had been plundered. The distressing report reflects the indifferent attitude of the authorities concerned towards their responsibilities of preserving and safeguarding our cultural treasure, traditions and values.
The place where our great Punjabi Sufi poet Waris Shah composed his masterpiece ‘Heer Ranjha’, considered one of the quintessential works of Punjabi classical literature, is abandoned and left to rot with little regard to its historical value, immense cultural significance attached to it and extreme devotion of thousands of lovers of Punjabi poetry and their love for this great Sufi poet of our country.
While the energetic efforts of our government to promote Sufism gain momentum with every passing day, such utter disregard for the historical places of Sufi poets does not augur well and may prove detrimental to the untiring efforts to disseminate the message of love, peace, unity and brotherhood.
Never was a greater need to promote Sufism than now when we witness, to our utter dismay and frustration, lawlessness, terrorism, extremism and violence of all kinds with no regard to the sufferings of our fellow beings. However, it’s good to see that our government also believes that Sufism is the panacea of all ills and troubles we are enmeshed with. What we need most is tolerance and unity to foil the evil designs of our enemies.
Given this scenario, we endorse the demands made by Mian Zakir to the president of Anjuman Waris Shah, to the Punjab government and the Punjab Institute of Language, Art and Culture to declare Waris Shah Mosque a historical monument and release funds for its renovation and preservation. The encroached land of the mosque may also be retrieved from local occupants.
All these steps are needed to be taken on an urgent basis to preserve this cultural heritage of ours. We hope the Punjab government will take immediate action to further the noble cause of promoting the message of Sufis all over the country and the world as well.
Pakistan is a land of saints and Sufis. The more we love them and promote their messages, the more we succeed in bringing to our country the peace and stability we badly need in these turbulent times we are passing through.
[Picture of Waris Shah from All Poetry.]