The distasteful side of fedual shrine culture

In a story entitled Punjab grants divine man obscene rights, Hamid Asghar of DAWN had written this report about the way the Sufi descendants of today can use their influence. I had saved the story and forgot where I had saved it. Today, I stumbled upon it. And, here it is – this is why the Sufis and their shrines are a target of negative comments.

GUJAR KHAN, Sept 18: That a “divine man” wants to drive in style in our VIP culture would not surprise many, but that the government helps him in the obscenity would.

That is how the local traffic police felt when it stopped a car for travelling with hooter blaring and blue light flashing on its roof and was confronted with a carte blanche in the form of an official letter addressed “To Whom It May Concern”.

The flashing light was just one sign that the car belonged to Badshah Ghosia Qalandar Baba Sarkar. His eminence were also proclaimed through a green flag, with Kalima on it, flying from the bonnet and Allah-o-Akbar and “786” emblazoned on either side of the personalised “Ghospak” green number plate.

Though the official letter prevented the police from taking any action against the owner of the car, it secured a copy of it for verification by the issuing authority — the Punjab Chief Minister’s Secretariat.

It is a piece to be read to learn how authority is exercised and distributed in the blighted Land of the Pure:

“The chief minister Punjab has been pleased to approve that the private vehicle bearing the personalised registration number “GHAUSPAK” is allowed to display a green coloured hooter and green coloured flag bearing “Kalma Tayyaba” on it during the times when BADSHA GHOSIA QALANDAR BABA SARKAR travels in it.

“This approval is exclusive for the above mentioned vehicle. “All concerning authorities are hereby directed not to interrupt this”, says the letter signed by G.M. Sikander, principal secretary to the chief minister.

Leave a Reply