As a Pakistani, I wish to congratulate you all on this 70th Independence Day anniversary. It was a difficult journey with thorns lining our path. We managed to achieve many objectives that were set by our leaders, but most goals still remain unaccomplished. We have to keep ourselves focused on reaching our desired destiny.
Recently I was watching a morning show in which the host was asking the children, of different grades, what they knew about the Independence Day. It was a shock to see them being so naive and casual towards the significance of the Independence Day! To some, it was a day when there is a holiday, or independence means ‘forming a land to live on’. Etc.
Is this what independence is all about?
Dear children, no, it is not at all just about a holiday or a piece of land! Our ancestors didn’t struggle so hard for the sake of a national holiday. In fact, they wanted an identity, they wanted a piece of land where we could all live according to our culture, religion and values.
An Independence Day needs to be celebrated with real fervour! Just feel the essence of the occasion in your souls and reclaim the lost patriotism in yourselves.
A holiday on a country’s Independence Day is something that is observed worldwide. We can think of some ideas that would revive the ‘zeal’ of this special day. Here are a few suggestions, but since you all are brighter than me, so can always add your own ideas to the list.
Learn about the struggle
This is not to imply that you memorise your Pakistan Studies course. What I mean here is to know the factual history that led to the struggle for freedom! For this you don’t have to go through any lengthy literature, just Google a few reliable and neutral websites and you will discover many aspects of it.
You can also watch movies such as Jinnah, which tell us more about our heroes and their struggles.
Respect the flag
A flag is not just a piece of printed cloth — it has a message that announces the sovereignty of a free land; it reflects the zeal of its people and tells the world that its inhabitants live united under it!
I request you to host a big flag on your houses but do not use paper flags tied together with a string. Haven’t you noticed that paper flags attached to strings get torn and are then seen on roads, garbage bins and every other place? Flags are our identity, so please respect them. We have to assure the sanctity of our beloved flag.
Play national songs
National songs renew our patriotic zeal. Many of the best ones came out before most of you were born, so don’t miss out on the musical heritage of our beautiful land by ignoring them. Plus, some songs were released on special and significant occasions, learn about them too and you will then enjoy the real flavour of the song.
Know our real heroes
We have heroes — real heroes in our history! They have done so much for the attainment of independence and their love for the motherland was above everything for them, even their lives. They deserve recognition and we should read about them to honour their sacrifices!
Green is the colour of love
Patriotism is not about wearing the dresses of the colours of the National Flag on important occasions! Plant a tree to show your concern for your country. We need a healthy environment and plants would help us breathe fresh air. Sow the seeds deep today and they will become giant trees one day for the benefit of our people.
Share the love
Independence Day is a big day for all Pakistanis. And on this special day we should pay heed to the condition of our fellow beings. We need to empathise with those that are weaker than us, especially in terms of their financial status. Try to help them in any way. So do anything for them — no matter how big or small your act may be! Just spread love and equality by your kind words and whatever material things you can share.
Let this 70th anniversary be an occasion to learn about the real essence of Independence and cherish it as it should be. Let it make you an independent, responsible individual.
Happy Independence Day!
Published in Dawn, Young World August 12th, 2017