65 years to the day, Pakistan was declared an independent and sovereign state after the struggles and sacrifices of our forefathers. A new hope was given to the Muslims of the sub continent to be able to live in a place which they could call their own homeland.
The last 65 years we have seen war, corrupt leaders, military coupes, dictatorship, natural disasters, terrorism, scandals, unemployment spikes, economic disparity etc etc. Yes .. we have seen all this. But at the same time we have also seen stories of inspiration, humanity, Nobel Peace Prize Winner, celebrated artists and poets, sporting achievements (cricket, hockey and squash largely and now a couple in tennis), Oscar winner, unsung heroes, unconditional unity in the face of natural disasters, independent judiciary, charity foundations and projects, local businesses going multinational and now a democratically elected government which seems to be on course to completing it’s 5 years in office.
The point is yes there is bad in this country. Yes there are plenty of grim points and shades of grey. The leadership doesn’t induce confidence. Poverty is rife. Economic situation isn’t peachy. There are problems. I mean I could go on and on but let’s just cut to the chase and admit; yes there are problems, many problems and these will take a lot of effort, a huge effort to be resolved, overcome and worked upon to make this nation head towards becoming a prosperous nation. If I tell that to some of the more ‘Hardened’ citizens of this fine land I will probably get statements like ‘65 years this country has been the same. Nothing’s gonna change. Get out while you can. You are young and can make an opportunity for yourself abroad. Iss mulk kaa kuch nahi honay wala’.
Well to that I say, tough and herculean but not impossible. It can’t be impossible. It can’t always be like this. I mean… the corrupt will eventually run out of people to feed on and the terrorists will eventually run out of ammo … or the funding for their ammo. It can’t keep going on like this. It simply can’t. And as long as we are a Nuclear state there is no way in hell the world will stand idly on the side to let us disintegrate and let a bunch radicals get a hold of our nukes. Don’t get me wrong if the world had it’s way they would probably have us disarm all nuclear capability and then leave us to our own devices. But thankfully that’s not happening for the time being.
So coming back to how achieving the path to prosperity and growth and development and all that is wonderful is not at all Impossible. Just herculean. And in need of someone to start pulling us in that direction. And therein comes our youth. The youth are our future and it is for them that this direction must start getting set from now. If we don’t do anything now then our future generations will also be stuck in the same place that we are and will then have it upon themselves to start with the direction setting rather then getting the direction already and working on that.
If we want change in this country then we have to start bringing that change ourselves. I am not going to start about how people should vote for Imran Khan / PTI. That’s not where I was going with this change mantra. Yes we should probably vote for IK / PTI but that’s because we have no other choice. Only a moron would again vote for PPP / PML-N / MQM / ANP etc. Oh and there will be morons realistically speaking but well .. let’s get the change started from here and get involved in the electoral process. If there is an increased voter turnout in the next election as with the previous ones I will consider that a great step towards change. We have to bring the change ourselves not only by voting in the political landscape but as citizens of this country. We need to start taking ownership of our country, our nation.
We can’t just keep sitting in the comforts of our lounges or in the misery of our situation waiting for A chosen One to come and solve everything for us. He can’t. We have to do our share. Become better citizens. Stop bribing for convenience. Stop breaking the laws (even the little ones and even when you don’t think there are any cops around). Start helping or giving back to the community. Feeding the poor during Ramadan is a great of doing it by the way. Donating to charitable causes like TCF, SIUT, EDHI, SOS VIllage, Teaching programs. The top 2-3% of this country has enough money to be able to take out a portion of it for the charity and development of various facets of this nation. Education of course being the biggest and best thing to contribute in. You can do that by funds or even by participation. Health sector well really through funds only unless you are a doctor and have decided to work for the Health sector in a more non-commercial way. We can do a lot of things. The ones at the absolute .5% top in terms of our SEC A+, even have the ability to invest in this country and work towards job creation and helping the economy.
Ho yaqeen tou kuch bhee kar saktay hain hum. I heard the following ‘shair’ on a recently concluded show by Aamir Khan on Star Plus (Another good example for what can be done by the way for the cause of change) by the name of Satyamev Jayate:
Sirf hungama khara karna mera maqsad nahi
saari koshish hai ki ye soorat badalni chahiye
Mere seene may nahi, tou tere seene may sahi
Ho kahi bhee aag lekin aag jalni chahiye
We as citizens and ‘Pakistanis’ have the ability that we need to make this a wonderfully prosperous nation. To make Pakistan a great country. To fulfill the visions of our forefathers on whose sacrifices we got this piece of land. We alone hold the key to our fortunes and no one else. If we change, we demand that change and ensure change, change will come. And it will come like a snowball.
We have survived 65 years… let’s make sure they aren’t for nothing. Let’s make sure that the next 65 years are spent differently. Let’s hope that the guy writing a blog like me after 65 years (or if I am still around in 65 years) will be writing a different Independence day blog altogether.
Happy 14th August Pakistan, may you see great years to come many times over. Cheers!