Pakistan. The Ideology.

This picture is not owned by thezaidahmed.wordpress.com
This picture is not owned by thezaidahmed.wordpress.com

Just 75 years ago, at Minto Park, Lahore (it is now called Iqbal park) where the Minaret-e-Pakistan stands, the Lahore Resolution was passed. That day decided the future course of action for the All-India Muslim League, it was that day officially when the battle for Pakistan had begun. However one must realize that the battle for ‘freedom’ had begun  much before that time. It had started when Sir Syed Ahmed pushed the Muslims of India towards education, when Iqbal made that Allahabad address and when the ‘Now  or Never’ pamphlet was published by Chaudri Rehmat Ali. It was in fact freedom that was the struggle, Pakistan, a separate homeland happened to become that freedom eventually for the Muslims of India. But did we really achieve that freedom which was to be the struggle? Did some view the Lahore resolution document differently than some? The original document mentioned the term, ‘Independent State(s)’, was that something that the Muslims of Bengal held dearly but ignored by those on the other Muslim majority front?

What was penned down that day in that document, does it really stand true today? Does one really have the freedom that was decided to be pursued on that day? Did The Lahore Resolution, the spiritual birth of Pakistan really define the ideology of Pakistan? or was that course taken at a later point in history? Perhaps these questions will  never be truly answered, all we can do is assess history and reach an appropriate answer. Today Pakistan is going towards the depth of extremism day by day, a member of a religious minority does not have  the right to be elected head of state, questions are raised and petitions are filed when a member of the minority community rises to the Chief Justice of Pakistan(Acting). Democracy has been inconsistent in Pakistan, the Constitution has been amended countless times to favor timely rulers. Even when there is democracy, it is plagued with very high censorship(Censorship often takes place due to fear, as those speaking out against fundamentalist extremism are often banned. As of now WordPress is also banned, the reason for which I cant point a finger at), the electoral process is far from free and fair, violence and intolerance fuels in society. This is certainly not what was aimed on that day in 1940, but was it was also something not foreseen when the objective Resolution was passed in 1949 by then Prime Minister of the newly free country. This document(Objectives Resolution) made several previsions for religious clerics to have a say in the government. Perhaps it is on that day when the aim towards freedom, tolerance, co-existence and equality was shifted, since that day it has been tilting and tilting going towards directions which are not those of tolerance.

The separate homeland was campaigned to be a ‘Muslim majority’ nation/nations, the idea behind this was that in a greater India, Muslims were oppressed by the Hindu majority, in a Muslim majority homeland, they will not be oppressed(But certainly, the principle extended on to the idea that since Muslims were persecuted in a greater India, in this new nation, no minority shall be persecuted on their beliefs). The Quaid-e-Azam stressed upon religious tolerance in society and stood strong on his principles that no one shall be prosecuted due to their beliefs in the free country, views that are commendable, views that were lost somewhere after he passed way after his life long struggle for freedom. Religion was made to justify military regimes after it took over several times from the alleged democracy. Religion has been used at many points in the history of Pakistan to discredit opponents and strengthen oneself, it has been used to fuel hatred within communities and allowed individuals to act as saviors and protectors from ‘enemy beliefs’ while in fact they are the real enemies.

So what is the Ideology of Pakistan? Is it freedom that the Muslims did not get in India or is the dominance that the Muslims did not get in India? I choose to believe the former although history and the current situation guides me to the latter. 23rd March is the spiritual Birth of Pakistan, what has happened, is gone, we can not change it. But what we can do is look back and learn from our mistakes and come out as better, stronger and united citizen of Pakistan. We owe it to our future generations and those who sacrificed themselves for this Land and its people. It is the people in essence that define the ideology of a country, ours should be that of tolerance and being strong. State propaganda throughout time to create an environment to support and justify themselves by infusing hatred against other groups in society can not be accepted and can not decide a country’s ideology. We must take it upon ourselves to make Pakistan a better place, we must fight the enemies of our state, we must not let anyone rob us of our democratic, civil and human rights using the banner of religion or democracy itself. Pakistan must rise, it is our job to ensure that the rise happens. Prosecution of minorities, killing of innocents, killing for political gains, fueling ethnic hatred to be crowned saviors, oppression based on gender and hiding due to the fear of extremist outcries must not be continued, we must stand against injustice. No longer is it okay for the state to drop the curtains rather than confront the radical and extremist voices in society, that only aim to oppress the vulnerable. 

Freedom poet Habib Jalib,  

Khuda tumhara nahi hai khuda hamara hai
Use zamin pe yeh zulm kab gawara hai

Lahoo piyoge kahan tak hamara dhanwano
Badhao apni dukan seem-o zar ke deewano
Nishan kahin na rahega tumhara shaitano
Hamein yaqeen hai ke insaan usko pyara hai
Khuda tumhara nahin hai khuda hamara hai
Use zameen pe yeh zulm kab gaawara hai

Translation:

God is not yours, to Him we have access
He does not look kindly on those who oppress

How long, you men of pelf, will you bleed us white
Get off our backs, you who in filthy lucre take delight
You satans it is dust that you will soon bite
We believe that He treats mankind with loving tenderness
He does not look kindly on those who oppress

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