Unless you've been living under a rock the past few months, your life had been unequivocally effected by the ongoing kite ban in Lahore, Pakistan. Things turned ugly in Lahore on Friday, December 9th, when the Supreme Court of Pakistan voted to extend the ban another six weeks. The ban was made on October 25th, and now, kite enthusiasts will have to wait until January 26th before the court will convene again to discuss the matter. It's no surprise that many protestors became irate and had to be forcibly detained by baton-wielding policemen.
If some authorities have their way, the kite ban will be become permanent, but as a lawyer for several kite manufacturers pointed out, such a ban would leave about 100,000 people without jobs. Not to mention the devastating effect it would have on Basant, a Pakistani kite-flying festival that hosts tens of thousands of people each year.
Apparently the authorities are concerned about the rising number of injuries and deaths associated with kite-flying. At the Basant festival in February 2005, 19 people died, and some 200 were injured. The majority of these stem from people falling off buildings, or being struck by metal strings, which are popular in a sport where the goal is to severe your opponents string. Sometimes people just fall off of buildings. You can't put a ban on stupidity.
In another incident last month, a young girl died when her throat was cut by a kite string. It is speculated that the string had been coated in powdered glass, to cut other strings easier. This is ridiculous. Why would anyone put powdered glass on a kite string? I can think of dozens of better things to do with powdered glass. Like diamond dusting the ventilation system of a crowded office building, or an old-age home. Or spreading it on the handrail of a flight of stairs in a school. Or getting a job at a fancy Hollywood restaurant and putting it in celebrities' food.
Clearly this kite ban is as asinine as it is erroneous. It's just another attempt by "The Man" to destroy everything that is good and wholesome. Yes, some people may fall off of buildings, or lose a limb, and some children may even be decapitated. But show me an activity that doesn't involve these risks. Then maybe I'll give this kite ban a second thought.