Anoushey Ashraf plays holi on Pakistan Day to send a powerful message about acceptance

Anoushey Ashraf plays holi on Pakistan Day to send a powerful message about acceptance

"As a Muslim, as a Pakistani I feel I need to appreciate other people, their cultures and my country - and it's okay."
Updated 24 Mar, 2019

Anoushey Ashraf wants to share an important message with all Pakistanis - and it's a strong case for peace and unity.

On 23rd March, the star was invited by designer Deepak Perwani to celebrate holi with friends and family and also commemorate Pakistan Day.

Before heading out for the party, Anoushey chose the moment to spread a powerful message among her audience. She went on Instagram wearing a Pakistan tee and said: "Wearing my Pakistan Tee on resolution day and enjoying the diversity of my land by celebrating Holi with the Hindu community. PAKISTAN FOR ALL! I'm wearing my Pakistan shirt today; celebrating the armed forces, wearing the beauty of this country and everything that Pakistan hast to offer [which] I'm truly very grateful for as you should be as well."

"But two lessons [to be learned] here today on 23rd March: I am going to a Hindu friend's Holi party and I want to be a part of it because I want to celebrate the diversity in Pakistan on 23rd March. So I'm going to ask for one thing from all of you today and that is acceptance, tolerance for everybody because that's exactly what Muslims are looking for around the world. We should become the example ourselves and be good to those who do not follow our faith but are still a part of this nation."

Unfortunately, this struck the wrong cord with a few fans and Anoushey sought to sort the issue through a live Instagram session and clarify.

"I want to go [to the holi party]. As a Muslim, as a Pakistani I feel I need to appreciate other people, their cultures and my country - and it's okay," she said.

"I know other people may think otherwise, I get it; many people might think this is not right or that it's not part of our culture or our religion, [but] without being controversial, our religion also teaches us to keep others happy and treat them with respect and that nothing is bigger than humanity."

The star stressed that there is a dire need to have a conversation on this matter and address "the importance of other cultures and religions in Pakistan and how as Muslims we should behave. Are we doing them a favour by letting them have Dilwali or Holi, Christmas? No, we are not. This is their right as citizens of this country and one must realise this 100%.

"We're not bigger than anyone, everyone is an equal part of this country. It is an Islamic state, there's not doubt about that, we have to respect that but we are no one to stop anyone or give them the right to practice their religion, this is their right, this is their culture and we have to give them that freedom together, the same that Muslims look for in the entire world for their religion by wanting to do hijab [freely] or go to mosques [without fear]."

She then urged others to take the public holiday to "understand the imp of the resolution, read up about it, go over it why Pakistan was created, who as it created for and how would Quaid want us to be as citizens of this country."

Anoushey shared a photo from the holi party with a caption to further drive home the point.

"5 hate comments! Over 3600 likes. Not bad, Pakistan. Not turning the comments section off. And haters, don’t delete your comments and run once you’ve been given a reply. It’s fun. You see what you want to see. I’m not here to make you see otherwise. I'm just sharing the love. Got no love? step aside and scroll forward."

"How about Christians calling out the PM of NZ a hypocrite for covering her head and standing in complete solidarity with the Muslim community having the Azaan played on all channels for Friday prayers? We would’ve burned down half our country had such an act taken place here but are loving the love from them? LEAD by example. And change happens when we speak."

She added, "Someone smart once said, 'If Muslims around the world need to feel respected and accepted by people of all faiths, they themselves should respect and accept people of all faiths'. I'm only joining in the festivities, not converting and dancing to the tunes of their ‘religion’ ...some of you are a joke. Please breathe. Take a shower. Watch some Cartoon Network and get off Instagram. Relax."


Taha Mar 24, 2019 11:04am
we're hypocrites that's all....we love when others show respect to our culture and religion but hate to reciprocate that back...the irony when our religion preaches tolerance and love for all!
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Zak Mar 24, 2019 11:26am
Throwing colours with chemicals in it, causes cancer, when it touches the skin, according to US journal of medical sciences.
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Advocate Mansoor Mahesar Mar 24, 2019 11:33am
Pakistan is an independent country and people have right to celebrate their religious day's, even they are Muslims , Hindu's or Christians. Just feel one nation Pakistani.
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Salman Mar 24, 2019 11:41am
All this fancy partying is fine, but if a celebrity wants to send a message, go and visit a forced converted Hindu's home and put a face to their name. We Pakistanis need to learn how to co-exist with other religions. Sadly we use media as a tool of indulgence, and not a change agent.
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PETER SURAJ PARKASH Mar 24, 2019 11:53am
You warmed up hearts of 1.5 Billion people of this continent! Love, affection and tolerance have no substitutes. Jai Ho!
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bhaRAT© Mar 24, 2019 12:00pm
Lovely. Pakistan day and showing unity with our Hindu community for Holi. Wonderful retorts to bigots (just 5 though after many likes) as well.
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Bazu Mar 24, 2019 12:11pm
Very brave and a nice gesture!
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Bilal Mar 24, 2019 12:18pm
Well done Anoushey. I'm with you and I get it
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Alijimmyarbab Mar 24, 2019 01:06pm
Good going girls
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Truth Mar 24, 2019 01:18pm
Good for you Pakistan. Tolerance and acceptance are important building blocks of a strong nation. The sooner you understand it, the faster you move towards real development and upliftment of poor.
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sangun Mar 24, 2019 01:50pm
Very well articulated. May your tribe grow in Pakistan.
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Shakir Mar 24, 2019 01:53pm
Well I agree that we should respect other religions and help them live a happy and free life here in this country. But I don't understand how it is better for them to celebrate their festivals in their own way? I mean all of us know that majority of Hindus and Christians are living below the poverty line particularly in Sindh. . why can't we help them living a good life? People like her have a lot of money. Why cant they use it for helping them instead of taking photo shots at such occassions for their own fame.
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maxhar Mar 24, 2019 01:53pm
we can still give respect to other religions... without celebrating their religions days... we don't ask them to celebrate ours... so why should we celebrate theirs... there are other ways also of giving respect...
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Truth Mar 24, 2019 02:11pm
Holi is as much a Culture of Pakistan as it is of India. Culture of a land doesn't go, when you embrace other religion. Most ancestors of Pakistani Muslims were Hindus in past. Pakistan should learn from Indonesia which has maintained its Hindu culture along with embracing Islam.
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Uzi Mar 24, 2019 02:36pm
Showing respect and tolerance towards other religions is non-controversial. However, partaking in the rituals and practices of other religions is not equivalent to acceptance or tolerance.
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Jameel Mar 24, 2019 04:28pm
@Truth the only place worth visiting in Indonesia is Bali...and u know why
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SATT Mar 24, 2019 04:35pm
Smear some color before it fades away.
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SP Mar 24, 2019 05:09pm
Way to go !
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Najma Hisham Mar 24, 2019 05:32pm
Holi is our culture. It took place right here in Pakistan 2000 years ago.
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HashBrown® Mar 24, 2019 06:02pm
Good on you Anoushey. Looks like it was an awesome celebration - I can't wait to experience it myself one day.
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Shahzad Mar 24, 2019 06:29pm
Wow a great message and gesture
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Krish Mar 24, 2019 06:35pm
Anoushey, this is a wonderfully warm sentiment. Celebrities like you can make a difference by accentuating the good that is in all of us, regardless of religion. Thanks...
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Rational.corp Mar 24, 2019 06:39pm
More tolerant people are needed on both sides of the border. Well done Anoushey. Lovely name too.
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Ehsan Mar 24, 2019 09:38pm
Well said anoushey.
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Salman Mar 24, 2019 11:28pm
I salute my sister Anoushey Ashraf, for her attitude!
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Another Indian Mar 25, 2019 04:26am
@Zak ... The article is not really about throwing colors at one another but about accepting others for once. I am not surprised you missed the point by a mile.
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Rahman Mar 25, 2019 08:28am
@Advocate Mansoor Mahesar Well said.
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Nil Mar 25, 2019 08:47am
@PETER SURAJ PARKASH who appointed you the representative of 1.5 billion people??
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Omer Chaudhry Mar 25, 2019 12:10pm
A very bold step - lots of appreciations. We Muslims must also show respect & tolerance for Faith of others if we want the same for ourselves from the rest of world.
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HashBrown® Mar 26, 2019 06:16am
@Salman "All this fancy partying is fine, but if a celebrity wants to send a message, go and visit a forced converted Hindu's home and put a face to their name." Brother it's not an either/or situation. She has every right to celebrate Holi with Pakistan's Hindus, and she even took the time to urge other Pakistanis to look at the constitution's responsibility to our minorities. Frankly that alone is more than what most other Pakistanis would be prepared to do.
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Bupi Mar 29, 2019 09:57am
Cultue belongs to region & not to any religion
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