Lal Shahbaz Qalandar is a name which resonates with Pakistan. The Sufi Shrine dedicated to the Muslim mystic was built in 1356 CE. On 16th February, 2017, a terrorist attack took place in Sehwan Sharif- the place that houses the shrine. With many injured, it also killed at least 85 innocent people as a dhamaal was taking place. After the suicide blast, IG Sindh passed orders to seal the Mazaar for three months to collect evidence.
The place has a high spiritual and cultural significance, moreover a lot of Sufi Qalaams, including Bulleh Shah’s poetry have been dedicated to Shahbaz Qalandar such as ‘Dama Dam Mast Qalandar’ and ‘Jhoolay Lal’. It is an epic symbol for people from different faiths such as Hindus and Muslims.
Shrines also serve as community centers in our part of the world, so naturally people have a strong association with such spaces. The aforementioned seal of the Mazaar was a setback for many people because Dhamaal is itself a form of protest and has been going on for the past 700 years.
Pakistan as a Resilient Nation
A video of Sheema Kermani spread like fire last week. She, along with her colleagues performed dhamaal at the shrine as to promote peace and devotion to historical entities. It shows a beautiful message which reflects the love our nation has for culture and community.
This is just one example, innumerable people from different parts of the country showed up to show solidarity with the victims of the tragic incident. “People from the elitist backgrounds also went to uplift the spirits of the place and the people who come here everyday.” - Gaddi Nasheen.
In essence, a lot of people condemned the sealing of the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar Shrine, to keep the dhamaal going on and to show their love and consolidation for the place, the people, and of cours