14th August | Have we forgotten its purpose?

14th August is not meant to be celebrated by aerial firing, onewheeling and listening to some national songs.

14th August is not meant to be celebrated by aerial firing, onewheeling and listening to some national songs.

14th August, 1947 marked the end of British rule on the Indian sub-continent and the creation of two sovereign states, India and Pakistan. This was the fruit of the long struggle of Indian Muslims to get recognition and equal rights under the british rule. The creation of Pakistan, however, was only the first step in the right direction. Nearly 7.2 million Muslims had to migrate from India to Pakistan and the journey was marked with bloodshed. These sacrifices were made because the people wanted to live according to the Islamic values peacefully in this separate piece of land. Despite facing countless problems, the people of Pakistan were united, they had a dream and they were determined to do everything they could to make that dream come true.

Fastforward 66 years, people are celebrating another 14th August with full zeal and zest. From building and streets to clothes and face-paint, everything is covered in green to mark the anniversary of independence. The energetic youth take to the streets to show their gratitude for the existence of this country by aerial firing, going to concerts, dancing on the streets and one-wheeling etc. Overall the atmosphere is filled with joy. The Pakistan of Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Iqbal, however, is nowhere to be seen in these celebrations. It seems that the people have forgotten the reason this nation was created for.

After 66 years Pakistan is still stuck on that first step. The country is plagued with illiteracy, ignorance, terrorism, corruption, sectarian killings, economic downfall, Inflation, foreign loans, lack of utilization of natural resources to name a few. The recent attack on Jinnah’s residence in Ziarat is an example of just how bad the situation is in the country.  The people blame the government, the government blames the opposition, the opposition blames the army and so on. The aforementioned problems have stopped the progress of the country completely, and we seem to be heading backwards as the authorities and the people are busy in exchanging accusations.

It is true that it’s not all doom and gloom and that there are a lot of positive things happening in Pakistan. But that does not give us an excuse to keep ignoring the negative things and allow them to grow and make the situation even worse. National days such as 14th August and 23rd March are supposed to remind us of all the hardships the Muslims of India went through so they could acquire this piece of land. They are not meant to be celebrated by aerial firing, one-wheeling and listening to some national songs. To celebrate 14th August in it’s true spirit, we need to look at the dream of those who sacrificed their lives for this country, and we need to carry on the hard work where they left it to fulfil that dream.

It is a divine law that the condition and the leaders of a nation do not change until that nation changes itself. We need to start following the Islamic teachings. We need to unite as a nation and learn to live with each other’s differences in peace. We need to start learning in schools instead of memorizing, we need to earn our jobs instead of getting them through some relatives or resources. We need to stop bribing the authorities and we need to stop taking bribes. We need to bridge the gap between the poor and the rich by including them in our activities instead of treating them as outsiders. We need to start respecting the law. We need to start saving electricity and other natural resources as much as we can. We need to let the government know that they will be held accountable for their actions. In short, if we want to put this nation back on the track and make the dreams of our forefathers come true, we need to take some responsibility for the current state of Pakistan and do something about it instead of blaming each other.

So let us take a vow on the 66th anniversary of independence that we will change ourselves to change Pakistan so that it becomes a reflection of the dream of Jinnah, Iqbal and all the people who made sacrifices so that we could live a better and peaceful life in accordance with the teachings of Islam. Let us take a vow that we will not limit ourselves to just 14th of August every year, let us take inspirations from our ancestors and convert that inspiration into action everyday. Let us strive for a better Pakistan so that we can live happily and peacefully rather than pretending to be happy for one day and ignoring all the problems we are facing until it is too late.

اے غنچۂ خوابیدہ چو نرگس نِگَراں خیز

کاشانۂ ما، رفت بتَاراجِ غماں، خیز

O sleeping bud, wake up to a narcissus-like vigilance over the world,

Rise, for griefs have devastated our haven;

 

از نالۂ مرغِ چمن، از بانگِ اذاں خیز

از گرمیِ ہنگامۂ آتش نفَساں خیز

Let the lament of the morning fowl and the dawn call of prayer wake you up;

Rise, the fire-eaters are at work and the fire-balls hang in the air.

از خوابِ گِراں، خوابِ گِراں، خوابِ گِراں خیز

از خوابِ گِراں خیز

Rise from heavy slumber, from heavy slumber arise!

دریائے تو دریاست کہ آسودہ چو صحرا ست

دریائے تو دریاست کہ افزوں نہ شُد وکاست

What an ocean is thine that is silent like a desert?

What an ocean is that which swells not and falls like a lake?

بیگانۂ آشوب و نہنگ است، چہ دریاست؟

از سینۂ چاکش صِفَتِ موجِ رواں خیز

What an ocean is it that knows no storms and whales?

Rise like a tidal wave from the split breast of the ocean!

از خوابِ گِراں، خوابِ گِراں، خوابِ گِراں خیز

از خوابِ گِراں خیز

Rise from heavy slumber, from thine heavy slumber arise!

فریاد ز افرنگ و دل آویزیِ افرنگ

فریاد ز شیرینی و پرویزیِ افرنگ

Beware of the West and its bewitching coquetry!

Beware of its disloyal charm and its Machiavellian malice!

عالم ہمہ ویرانہ ز چنگیزیِ افرنگ

معمارِ حرم، باز بہ تعمیرِ جہاں خیز

The world lies desolate from the savagery of the West!

O builder of the Sanctuary, take up the task of building a new world!

از خوابِ گِراں، خوابِ گِراں، خوابِ گِراں خیز

از خوابِ گِراں خیز

Rise from thine heavy slumber, from thine heavy slumber arise!

The blog was first published on Pakistankakhudahafiz.com on 15 August, 2013.

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