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Independence Day Celebration – The Good And Bad Of It

One cannot deny the real meaning of patriotism, and that one should have a profound love for their native land. So every year educational institutes organize special functions to celebrate the Independence Day, which in my opinion – is something that should be continued as well as appreciated. For it rekindles among the youth, a spirit of patriotism. Inspirational national songs are played to regale, thrill and boost the spirits of the audience, leaving them to wave their hands delightedly, or be overwhelmed by a feeling of wonderment. Short skits are performed, often with the intent to deliver powerful messages that are thought provoking, and enthusiastic speeches delivered; they may be emotive, calling for action, usually ending up with the popular slogan, “Pakistan Zindabad.”

This is all undoubtedly amazing and something that must be there. At odds with such bustling activities are, however, certain inept practices that negate the fervor and enthusiasm of Independence Day celebrations.

In their speeches, orators tell us that what we should do is, “ Not to ask what our country has given us, but ask what we have given to our country.” This may well be a good way to silence our criticism of the state of affairs of our country – it’s not entirely justified. What is a man/women supposed to give their country? Is it not the responsibility of the state to provide them with quality education, employment, healthcare facilities etc? After the state has fulfilled these responsibilities, it may be entitled to receive something from its subjects, but not otherwise.

Everywhere in the world, it is the state that gives – not the people; they only return. They may return in various forms: by working for and investing in charitable causes; by achieving extraordinary feats to bring glory to their nation; and working sincerely for the betterment of their country after having acquired the necessary qualification, instead of flying abroad.

Another such inept practice is that of trying to impress upon the idea, that it’s us who accentuate and focus on the negative side more than the positive side, so it’s our fault. True, we should also discuss the positive aspects of our country – but the side which is more prominent is clearly visible.

In addition to this, overly emotive speeches are delivered in which the orator claims ‘we’ are responsible for all that is bad in our country, and that ‘we’ are the ones who should rectify all this. We should endeavor to spark as well as fuel our youth’s ambition to uplift the country, so as to achieve long-lasting peace and prosperity. Nevertheless, it is highly inappropriate to say that students, who have not even stepped into professional lives yet, are the ones who are to blame for all this.

Educational institutions should, therefore, stop trying to convince students of those convictions they are likely to take with a pinch of salt. There are many valid reasons why we, as Pakistanis, should love Pakistan in spite of all the problems we face; some of them I have discussed below.

  1. What is your own is yours

Whether your home is big or small, whether it has a garden or not – it’s your home. You would definitely not enjoy the same level of comfort elsewhere. Much the same applies to your country.

  1. Would you like to be a second-class citizen?

As students you may think that once you have acquired necessary qualification, you can move abroad. But soon you would realize that the natives of a country are given first priority, and foreigners treated as second-class citizens.

  1. Religious freedom is value able

Muslims who are living in non-Muslim states don’t usually enjoy as much religious and cultural freedom as we do here, in Pakistan.

In Canada, for instance, students learning fine arts are required to visualize and draw nude models as part of the curriculum, whereas nudity is not acceptable in Islam. In 2007, the University of Ontario was asked to provide alternatives to nude models for Muslim students. The demand was considered unreasonable and therefore, it was rejected.

Another example is that of Italy. Although 1.6 million Muslims live in Italy, there are only eight mosques in the entire country. As a result, many Muslims are forced to adjust with places like car parking areas and garages.

Like Italy, Chinese Muslims are not allowed to fast or participate in religious activities during the holy month of Ramadan.

  1. You don’t lag behind anyone

We have many glorious achievements to speak of. This country has produced a number of iconic performers: M.M Alam, the Pakistani fighter pilot who holds the record of having shooting down five Indian aircrafts in less than a minute; Sumail Hassan, the youngest millionaire gamer; Arfa Karim; Ali Moen Nawazish; and the list goes on.

So I am hopeful that the above mentioned inept practices that have crept into our independence day celebration will be removed so as to make them all the more enjoyable.

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