In 2004, 19 people met their fate during the festival and a ban was quickly passed. Thousands protested and the government finally agreed to lift the ban for this year. As part of the agreement, the government promised to take preventative measures to ensure the publics safety. They didn’t.
This years Basant claimed the lives of at least 11 people and injured over 100 more. Of the 11 people who perished, 5 were hit by stray bullets, one of which was a 6-year-old boy. 2 more kids had their throats slit by metal kite strings. 2 more people were fried when they tried to recover their kites from high-voltage power lines. Another kid fell off of a roof trying to catch a stray kite. And lastly, a mother took a dive off a roof trying to prevent her son from doing the same.
Now in my previous article about this festival I defended it and I stick by that. While the Basant may sound insane to many, this is a huge festival and it is important to those that celebrate it. But on the flipside, it is the governmentâ€™s role to police the event and remove people doing illegal activities. Police did do a decent job and arrested some 700 people for various acts of stupidity.
There is also a level of responsibility that falls to the people attending the Basant. Mothers should not allow their young kids on the roof or near the kite flying in the first place. To me it would seem wise to keep a safe distance from razor-flying kites. Lastly, a little common sense goes a long way. If your kite lands in high-power lines, do yourself a favor and don’t touch it! Simple I know, but two people would better off had they headed that advice.
What do you guys think? Should this festival be allowed to take place or should the actions of the few ruin it for the masses?
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