Islamabad, February 18, 2020
In a Gallup & Gilani Pakistan National Survey conducted in the year 1999, respondents were asked “What is your opinion on celebrating Basant?” In response, majority 41% said they oppose it, while 30% said they are in favor of celebrating Basant and 29% had no opinion.
Comparative Picture: This question was asked again in 2018 to enable a comparison to be made across the years. In 2018, 54% said they oppose it, while 16% said they are in favor of celebrating Basant and 19% had no opinion.
Trend Analysis: Overall public interest in Basant celebration has significantly declined over the past 20 years, as only 16% in 2018 were in favor of celebrating Basant contrary to 30% in 1999. However, it should be noted that opposition to Basant peaked in the year 2011 when 63% (nearly 2 in 3 adults) opposed Basant. Since then the figure has come down to 54% in 2018.
Implication of this finding: The popularity of Basant has rapidly declined over the years due to potential threats it poses to the safety of citizens. Kite-flying which is a crucial aspect of Basant has led to multiple injuries and deaths among pedestrians and bike riders who were exposed to stray kite threads and twines made of sharp glass, leading to Basant’s ban by Supreme Court in 2005.
This press release has been made as part of the Gallup Pakistan History Project which aims to release historical empirical polling data to wider audiences. The objective is to sustain and encourage empirical decision making in Pakistan.