Monday, November 9, 2015

Are we living in the Pakistan dreamt by Sir Iqbal?

29 December 1930 - a day which marked the history with the conception of a new Islamic state in United India - became the first step towards the culmination of Pakistan.
The idea of having a separate muslim state was presented by Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal, in the 25th session of All India Muslim League. He was the person behind the ideology of Pakistan, for which we and our future generations will always be thankful to him.

Iqbal Day, Pakistan
Are we living in the Pakistan dreamt by Iqbal?

He announced his idea of a muslim state in the following memorable words:
I would like to see the Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Sindh and Balochistan amalgamated into a single State. Self-government within the British Empire, or without the British Empire, the formation of a consolidated North-West Indian Muslim State appears to me to be the final destiny of the Muslims, at least of North-West India.

His dream led to a historic struggle which finally matured in the form of Pakistan - the land of the pure. The name proposed by Chaudhry Rehmat Ali predicted the characteristics of the prospective nation of this country which was only a dream that time. None of the strugglers, dreamers & philosophers of the time could be sure of whether or not will they be able to actualize the desire of having a free state where muslims will be able to follow & practice their religion openly, without any fear or suppression.

The strive focused towards achievement of the country called Pakistan continued for about 17 years until the British fled away and Pakistan came into being on 14th August 1947. Hundreds and thousands of people gave their lives away just for the sake of this dream. The newer generations are unable to visualize the sacrifices our ancestors of those times had to make in their past in order to give us a better future. Everyone of us knows this much about the troubles our ancestors had to face when they were trying to give their future generations a free country to live and breathe in.

However, what’s next? Have we achieved the state desired by the All India Muslim League? Do we live in a Pakistan which was dreamt by Dr. Iqbal?

Let’s just review the condition of Muslims in the United India to evaluate why exactly there was a need for a separate Muslim state. After the invasion of British in United India in the form of East India Company, the British maintained discrimination against Muslims in almost all possible manners, the education system was abandoned and revised; government jobs were declined to the Muslims & as a result suppressing the whole Muslim nation in all aspects. There was no justice, no peace, no business & educational opportunities, and no security for the Muslim community. The Muslims were denied having property rights which were not restricted earlier. Experiencing all the above mentioned restrictions, the Muslims had to stand up and fight for their rights. They put their hearts in the efforts which realized into a physical existence on the globe in the form of Pakistan.

Now let’s review all the above points one by one and see if the formation of Pakistan has resolved the issues or not - Do we have justice and uniform implementation of law on each & every citizen of Pakistan? Are Muslims & non Muslims safe in the country and are able to practice their religions openly & freely? is there no bifurcation of the society in upper class & lower class; rich and the poor; resourceful citizens & resourceless ones? Is this the Pakistan which was proposed by Allama Iqbal? Did he demand for an individual/separate muslim state so that the rich & resourceful can get away with the most horrible of the crimes while the poor are arrested for stealing a piece of bread? Did he demand this state so that the citizens are insecure & unsafe in mosques, markets & even their houses? Did he dream of this state so that minorities will be brutally killed openly and the criminals remain free? Did he?

No he didn’t; so does this mean that his dream is still unfulfilled? Have we still not been able to elucidate his dream of establishing a state where people will enjoy peace, freedom, security & justice - not just for muslims, but for humans. The real dream he had was not only to form a physical country on the map of the world, but to actually enable the people living in the country to experience the rule of law and equality - and to ensure peace & harmony across diverse religions and cultures.
This year, on 29th December, can we as a nation promise to Iqbal’s soul that we will struggle yet again - to materialize his actual dream? We will struggle to bring peace, security & cultural consonance in the country which was fantasized by him. Can we promise to make this country a better place, for muslims, non-muslims - for humans? Can we promise to change our behaviors and attitudes and focus towards the prosperity of the country?

Let’s join hands together to thank the Poet of the East, for presenting the thought of a land where we can today breathe freely and let us strive to make this land a better place for all to live.

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