John Joseph is QUI YUAN of South Asia
Chinese people are proud of QUI
YUAN, who lived in 200 B.C. The manner of his
life and death has made him such an important
person in the Chinese folk history that he is
celebrated every year by a Dragon Boat festival
and a holiday. In fact, he is the symbol of the
Chinese spirit of protest for all times.
Qui Yuan was an advisor
to the emperor and is known to be a clear-headed
person in a very confused country at a difficult
time. Qui Yuan knowing his people provided some
advice to the emperor so as to make things better
for the people. The emperor ignored his advice.
To stress the importance of his advise, Qui Yuan
drowned himself in a river. His protest drew the
attention of the people.
He is celebrated in many
ways in post revolutionary China too. At Wuhan in
Hubei province, one of the largest gardens has
his statute at the entrance.
Bishop John Joseph of
Pakistan is not an Ancient hero hut a Modern one.
He too was a very clear-headed person living in a
confused country. His countrys blindness
came from religious fundamentalism where under
blasphemy law persons were condemned to death.
After protesting against this for a long time,
the Bishop realized the depth of the problem,
when mobs encouraged by fanatical clerics killed
one of his people in front of the court. A short
time later, the Bishop after promising that he
will sacrifice his life to stop this from
happening, shot himself to death in front of the
same court. His death shocked whole world and
Pakistan in particular.
John Joseph thus represents the great spirit of
protest not only for the people of Pakistan but
also for South Asia in general. This needs to be
celebrated and the cause for which he gave his
life needs to be pursued with courage and