The slogan inspired from the movie Forest Gump was modified to be used for the third international Lahore marathon.
In the movie, Forest is a 10 or 12 year old boy wearing braces on his legs. One day he gets troubled by local bullies while returning home with his friend Jennie. Forest starts running to save himself from the bullies who laugh when they see him trying to run with braces on his legs. His friend Jennie yells in the background “Run Forest Run!” and he runs so fast that he breaks the braces and becomes free and cured.
Our Forest, Lahore is the same guy, troubled by local bullies (the Mullah alliance) who want to humiliate Lahore and present a bad image of the city to the world. So the friends of Lahore gathered and yelled together, Run Lahore Run. We don’t know what Lahore is wearing on legs and whether it is now braces free and cured. But we believe in miracles, if Forest Gump can out run the obstacles in his life by simply running, why we as a nation can’t do the same?
Punjab’s government is trying hard to create a very soft image of Pakistan for the global audience. A place where people run and fly kites annually. Rest of the year the are busy doing the same things but without the help of the Chief Minister of Punjab. Free? Well the CM makes sure that Lahore is free to run and fly kites. The CM and government, they do not care about the Mullah or the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Kite flying in Lahore is a deadly festival. It wreaks havoc in the city with specially coated kite-string causing the electricity supply to be disrupted and, worse, costing the lives of hundreds of innocent residents.
There is also a debate whether Lahore should own the Basant or not, as many people and thinkers believe that it is actually a Hindu tradition and in order to save the so called “Pakistan Theory” we must not follow the Hindu culture and traditions.
Other people believe that Basant is actually a local festival and Islam does not prohibits anyone from celebrating local festivals. Some people also believe that the loss of lives, injuries and damage to the city’s infrastructure is actually due to the mismanagement and failures of local governments to organize it safely.
People celebrate Basant or not, they run or walk, The General Sahab doesn’t really care much about that. What worries General Sahab is the “Hard Image” of Pakistan. He wants to show the world that Pakistan is a moderate Islamic country. His formula is simple kites + Marathon = moderate Pakistan.
He is a great philosopher, isn’t he? Just look at his calculations, I wish all the dictators of the Muslim world had such formulas to make the entire Ummah moderate and enlightened. I wish all the Dictators were Robert Zemeckis.