Thursday, 30 August 2012

The Paradox of Independence

It is so naive of us to think of our nation as being free, it is almost hilarious when i see our youth celebrating 14th August with the so called “riwaiti josh-o-jazba” and it’s insane when our leaders tell us that we are sovereign. Bound in the shackles of slavery, entwined in chains of servitude, we are nothing but a horde of animals being driven by external forces. It is saddening to see that even after 65 years of 'dependence' we haven’t learnt anything! Nations elsewhere are progressing rapidly; we are being driven in to the abyss of destruction. Call me pessimistic, call me ungrateful or call me unpatriotic my notions of celebrating are not limited to updating my facebook status, riding bikes or delivering empty speeches.
Instead of spending all that money on flags, we could have bought many starving a delightful meal, instead of burning all that fuel we could have gifted some poor person who travels miles in torn shoes a pair of slippers. But NO we have to make the world record by making the biggest flag! Independent nations don’t need to prove that they are independent; it is almost as if we are in some sort of complex and we try every year to prove to ourselves that we are free. It is of course healthy to come together and celebrate! But the question remains: celebrate what? 65 years worth of failed governments? Our millions of poor people? or the load shedding?
I am at a loss for words when I see our prime minister ‘assuring’ people that Pakistan is an independent country. You don’t need to assure that sir, the fact that you are there in that PMs Chair is proof enough of my freedom!
It has been almost three years and I have gone status-less on facebook, have stopped wearing a badge, stopped buying jhandis and flags because I think that this is pointless! Instead I believe a better idea would be to give away that money! Oh right! What good will a hundred rupee do to a poor person? I am sure that is a ‘valid’ concern for most of us, what we don’t consider is that
a)      A hundred rupee note buys 20 Rotis (surprise that can actually help a starving family)
b)      If we do this collectively it can actually help
As an economics major, one thing that attracts me about Islam is the Zakat/Sadqa system. There is a perfect trickle-down effect in the economy that helps with the rotation of wealth. Pakistan, I am sorry ISLAMIC republic of Pakistan, was supposedly a country based on Islamic principles, sadly we couldn’t even apply the most pragmatic ones. There is still time to reconsider our values and our priorities; else we will be celebrating a hundred years of our Independence with the same Josh and Jazba without achieving anything substantial! 

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