Hesitation to rename chowk after 'Hindu' Bhagat Singh shows Pak's ignorance towards other religions: Editorial
Referring to the petition filed against the renaming of a chowk in Lahore after Indian freedom fighter Bhagat Singh, an editorial in a Pakistani daily has said the petition only illustrates the growing ignorance and sheltered approach of Pakistanis towards other religions.
According to the editorial in The Express Tribune, an extremist mindset has taken over the people of Pakistan and is affecting every aspect of life, making it a devastatingly dangerous force, distorting thinking and adding to bias in matters of everyday life.
Most recently, this has surfaced in the controversy over the renaming of landmarks in Lahore, it said. On November 16, the Lahore High Court (LHC) restrained the City District Government of Lahore (CDGL) from renaming Fawwara Chowk in Shadman after Bhagat Singh. Singh was a hero of the Indian independence movement, which led to the freedom from colonial rule of both India and Pakistan in 1947. Singh was hanged at the age of 23, by the British at the said chowk in 1931, for killing a British officer and for other acts aimed to rid his nation of oppression.
The court stayed the name change over a petition filed by a Tehreek-e-Hurmat-e-Rasool member. The petition states that it was earlier decided that the chowk would be named after Chaudhry Rehmat Ali, the man who coined the name of Pakistan. It also says that a "so-called" foundation had been established in the name of Bhagat Singh and that it has, with other "so-called" human rights associations, pressured the CDGL to name the chowk after him.
Born near Jaranwala in Punjab and educated in Lahore, it is entirely illogical that Singh's religion should exclude him from tribute in the land he grew up and died in. Bhagat Singh deserves to be remembered. The attempts to block this are absurd, the editorial concluded.