Ye Pakistani Kya Hota Hai?
In two days we will witness spectacular military might with a dazzling display of aircrafts around the Margalla Hills. Although some of us may not consider waking up in the morning, as resolutions aren’t that dear to us. Let’s shed some light on how does one feel about being a Pakistani in the contemporary world.
The most awkward question the modern day Pakistani could face is about identity. Who are You? What role does nationality play in your life? We aren’t that easy to classify. We can have undergraduates who call the family Robinhood even if a traffic sergeant signals to stop by. A devout businessman who acts quiet religious however upon exiting the mosque is susceptible to nepotism, corruption, and fraudulent activities as they say.
Some neoliberals might argue national identity is based on one’s personal perspective, fair enough but when the same individual relays morality, it isn’t personal anymore. Am I referring to the hypocritical nature of our people? To some extent, Yes but hypocrisy isn’t enough to explain the demeaning nature of people around us. From a cultural standpoint what makes us unique is the unity of diversity but again are we ready to forego that cultural distinction?
As a litmus test if we ask an average Pakistani to prioritize religion, family and the state accordingly we all know the answer to that. Perhaps religion is the driving force behind Jinnah`s land of peace and tranquility which emancipates through the corridors of power in one way or the other. As a nation, Pindi and Islamabad haven’t realized yet that we aren’t organic enough to be fed through state-sponsored narratives. Through seventy years of history, we have gone from a social welfare democratic state to an ever fulfilling shariah compliant fortress administered by men with mustaches. Are notions of freedom, tolerance, and prosperity indoctrinated through “sherwani” or khaki? These are basic building blocks of a state which partake through evolution. It took a lot of Englishmen courage to run the state of affairs without the church, centuries as a matter of fact. While we expect a young nation to embrace democracy in somewhat ten years of political governments.
When inquired about our identity in the world, the incongruity remains unnoticed when we are either termed Arabic or Indian. To solve the perplexity associated with our identity, some might trace everything back to August 1947, questioning the state`s narrative rigorously. We were born out of populism, religious ambitions, and communal violence but in all that, there was this dream of a nation where one could embark on a journey of self-discovery.
There is a lot more to be done in presenting a classic Pakistani platter to the world, to rather make an impact, sherwani cladding politicians and anthems may be supplementary. Look for explanations, make yourself comfortable with history or as my generation could interpret it, Go beyond the wall.
– Shehryar Ejaz
The Daily 360