Unity, faith, discipline?

Published November 29, 2010

teen talwar, teen talwars, minoo mistry, sindh culture day
The 'Teen Talwar' monument draped in traditional Sindhi ajraks. -Photo by Taimur Sikander/Dawn.com

Dressing up a national monument in ethnic colours is risky business no matter what the occasion is. This especially when provincial and ethnic marginalisation are seen as the biggest hindrances to national unity/stability.

December 4 has been declared Sindh Culture Day by the Chief Minister of Sindh Qaim Ali Shah, who has called for the citizens of Sindh to celebrate it with great zeal. Nothing wrong with that.

But does it make sense to line the streets with party flags which have essentially nothing to do with the Sindhi culture? Furthermore, is it right to dress up a monument like the 'Teen Talwars' that call for 'Unity, Faith and Discipline' with ethnic symbols? Will we do the same on Punjab, Balochistan and KP culture days? After all it is a 'national' monument? What kind of precedent does this set?

Aesthetically speaking, if anyone has had the opportunity to pass by the 'Teen Talwars' in Karachi today, it seems almost as if the monument felt the drop in temperatures and is now wearing sweaters (the ajraks).

Minoo Mistry, the famous Pakistani architect who designed the ‘Teen Talwars’, would never have imagined his creation would one day be used as an accessory.

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

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