HEC takes action against Holi celebrations in universities after QAU videos went viral

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The Higher Education Commission (HEC) objected to the Hindu festival of Holi being observed at a university because it “caused concern and adversely affected the country’s image,” according to reports.

The remarks were made by the commission in a letter dated June 20 that HEC Executive Director Shaista Sohail issued to vice-chancellors and heads of universities.

According to the letter, higher education institutions (HEIs) are in charge of distributing information and are crucial for changing young people into cultured individuals as well as for producing a workforce with the necessary skill set for the requirements of the nation.

According to the document, HEIs have the “ultimate responsibility to polish and nurture the exuberance of youth into learned, mature, and responsible citizens—ready to take on the country’s reins and play their role in nation building.”

Therefore, it was stated, “Public and private sector HEIs across the country are relied upon to groom our youth into compassionate, perceptive, and refined individuals able to walk through life avoiding obvious pitfalls.”

According to the letter, HEC has been developing its policies based on ideas “embodied in our own culture, values, and traditions, thus preserving the nation’s ideology”.

Although the HEC letter did not specifically mention the university, it came days after Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad made headlines on social media for organizing a Holi celebration on March 8.

Students can be seen dancing and tossing colored objects in the air in one of the videos going around on social media. Loud music is playing in the background.

According to the letter, such actions are incompatible with the country’s identity and societal values and should be prudently distanced from HEIs.