Its been ages since I have seen my country this united ! over the past decade we have seen this nation flounder and fail...everything we have touched has turned to ash.Every decision we have taken as a nation has backfired. From the ousting of Musharraf to trusting the old duo with power, from supporting America's so-called war to the massacre of of the innocent. All we have seen is a decade of disappointments, failures, discontentment and social decay. When I was young 14th august, 23rd march and 6th September were NOT just holidays. They had a purpose to them. kids roaming around with 'jhadian', buildings adorned with the green flags, 'diye' and candles, everyone from the janitor to the PTV newscasters carrying tiny Pakistan badges. There was a sense of unity, patriotism and loyalty. Celebrating 14th august with just one channel was much better than sifting through the gazillions that we have now. Yes men were killed all over the country, people complained about high prices, the government was decried everyday of its existence. But everyone was in it together. In these past ten years we have caught glimpses of this but only in times of calamities; the 2005 earthquake and 2010 flood are two examples.
Last night was a reminder that this nation still has it in them! True it has been marred by a series of grotesque events but we still are patriotic. When I saw people wearing green shirts, faces showing clear signs of anticipation, praying to Allah and promising to fast if the team wins I could see that this Nation was NOT just emotional (an intrinsic Pakistani trait) but truly patriotic. Even though the country lost, we stood behind our team.Yes, we were disappointed. Yes, we were hurt.And yes we cried. But, this ONE match proved that in spite of all our sufferings, all our failures, all our disappointments. we are still a nation.
This, however, is an important pointin time to answer a few vital questions. Why is it that we unite just for one day? why is that only certain events can gravitate us towards loyalty and remind us of our patriotism? And why is it that we pray only for a match? There are hundreds of issues that our country is facing today: inflation, food shortage, terrorism, illiteracy, suppression and poverty are just a few. Why dont we pray to God, promise to Fast, pray nafals for this? Arent these problems way more important than a one-day match?
We seriously need to rethink our priorities. This is high time we realize our faults and try to mend them before it actually gets too late.
April 3rd 2011 issue