Karachi: Pakistan`s politico-religious
party Jamaat-e-Islaami has taken offence to a private school
teaching `kathak` to its students, terming the dance form as
being against the values of the country while threatening that
the practice would "not be tolerated".
"This dance is against Pakistan`s basic values as well
as Islam`s traditions and the practice of this school teaching
this dance to students will not be tolerated," chief of JI in
Karachi Muhammad Hussain Mehnati, said in a statement.
The private school in the bustling Gulshan-e-Iqbal
area has hired professionals to hold kathak dance classes for
students who are interested in learning it.
"I think this practice of holding kathak dances needs
to be stopped immediately by the school," Mehnati said.
A school official who declined to be named said the
management was in touch with the provincial education
minister, department and the private schools association to
sort out the matter.
"They are many children taking these classes and there
is nothing inappropriate being taught in these classes, but we
are seeking second opinion as well after this statement from
the religious party," he said.
Well-known kathak exponent, Sheema Kirmani said she
was appalled by the Jamaat`s stance.
"Their statement is uncalled for and who are they to
determine what should be taught in schools," she said.
Kirmani said that training children in fundamental
arts is part of student`s overall schooling and without music
or arts a child`s education is incomplete.
"Their is nothing unethical or against the values of
Pakistan in these dance classes," she noted.
A number of dance schools have sprung up in different
areas of the city, particularly in the posh Defence and
Clifton areas, where a recent trend is to fuse aerobics with
the dance moves of latest Bollywood movies.