Why is Centaurus Mall charging an entry fee of Rs 300 from men only for religion exhibition?
By Sajid Ali
Last Tuesday, I visited Centaurus Mall to see the “Ghilaf-e-Kaaba” exhibition out of religious attachment just like many other Muslims, especially those who are not fortunate enough to visit the holy city of Mecca.
After hearing about it on social media, I was really eager to see the exhibition and was appreciating the efforts of Saudi Embassy and Centaurus Mall for arranging this remarkable exhibition in the capital city of Pakistan.
However, I was deeply disheartened and surprised to find out that the authorities of Centaurus Mall are charging Rs. 300 as entry fees and that too only from male members of the society.
This entrance fee was somehow acceptable on festivals like Eid when the Mall charged non-refundable amount of Rs. 500 from single men due to over-crowding.
But why is there a fee on a religious occasion like this? May I ask, why is Centaurus exploiting the religious attachment of Pakistani men? Are men not equal members of society?
Here are some reasons why I am speaking up against Centaurus Mall on behalf of all men of Islamabad and Rawalpindi:
- If there is an entrance fee to the exhibition then it should be for all visitors equally regardless of their gender.
- This entry fee is the exploitation of religious emotions of people as the mall authorities are aware Pakistanis are emotional about religion.
- If you have to charge, you should at least inform people on social media. Because those who came all the way to the mall had no choice but to pay.
- This is worse kind of commercialism as they know people will only visit the mall during this time to see the sacred artifacts on display and not spend money on shopping, so they are charging them beforehand.
Anyway, me and my friend, both students, did pay Rs. 600 (300 each) because we had no other opportunity to see this sacred exhibition. Indeed, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience but sadly it was marred by Centaurus Mall.
I believe such religious events should be organized in places like Faisal Mosque or Convention Center so that everyone can equally have the chance to see it.
I would request the Saudi Embassy and Mall management to make its entry free for rest of the days so that those who can not afford the fee also have equal chance to view the exhibition.
I am sharing my feelings on behalf of all me fellow men and hoping that Centaurus Mall will give us men equal treatment from now on.