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Effects of the Kite Flying Ban Imposed on Pakistan's Basant Festival in 2005

There has been much discussion about the effects of the kite flying ban imposed in 2005 in Pakistan to curtail the sale and flying of kites for the spring Basant festival.

The ban was supposedly implemented to reduce the number of fatalities and the damage caused by thousands of kites flown during the Basant festival.  There can be no doubt that the glass and chemical coated string did cause a good deal of damage and injury to some citizens and birds. When taut, the coated kite string can cut flesh and has been documented to be the cause of serious injury and even death each year.

In addition, some segments of the population saw the kites and kite flying aspects of Basant as too secular and against more traditional religious beliefs and customs.

So, in 2005 the Pakistan government passed a law banning the sale of the kites and kite line during the festival. This severly hampered the livelihood of kite makers and vendors. In addition, the ban also affected the sights and flavour of the Basant festival.  Formerly the skies were filled with colourful battling kites by the hundreds and thousands,  Today, only a few daring kiters send their kites soaring to the skies.

It is feared by some that the rich tradition of Pakistani kite making and flying will be lost over the coming years.

In March of 2010 the English language branch of the AlJazeera Network examined the current kite flying situation during Basant in Pakistan.

The history of kites and kite flying in Pakistan has a long and rich history. One can only hope that the skills of kite making and kite flying will not be lost over the coming years.


For additional background on the kites of Pakistan and their role in the festival of Basant, see my earlier article entitled: Kites in Pakistan: the kites of Basant in Lahore, Pakistan.

Posted on Wednesday, June 9, 2010 at 06:30AM by Registered CommenterHifliercanada in | CommentsPost a Comment | References2 References

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    Basant is a spring festival which used to be one of Pakistan's most popular events, attracting thousands of kite flyers from all over the world to Lahore. But the centuries old tradition, which has Hinduism roots, has been banned since 2005 because authorities said it became too hazardous. And now many Basant supporters are trying to push the government to legalise it again.
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