Independence Day memories within all of us in today’s spotlight
Mujhay shikayat hai janab-e-wala
Meri khushyaan, mujhay lota do
14th August (The Pakistan Independence Day) always remained a shining, brightening and thrilling day in Shahbaz’s life. He was told right from his initial days that this day was the climax of struggle and sacrifices from millions of Muslims of Indo-Pak region that lived during the Pakistan movement. Pakistan became lifeline for Shahbaz right from his early childhood. He used to spark, giggle and jump crazily overflowing with Pakistani passion whenever August started in his life. BUT…BUT…Until 2014 only…
Before telling you the reasons behind this big BUT, let’s tell you brief Glimpses of how 14th August day passion evolved in Shahbaz’s life.
As soon as he was able to realize the on goings and started making sensible sentences, Shahbaz realized that this Pakistani Independence day is very special one indeed. He adopted this passion from his surroundings where everybody was celebrating in one way or the other. Someone was wearing multiple badges including Pakistani flags and pictures of notable heroes such as Allama Iqbal and Quaid-e-Azam etc while others preparing Jhandiaa’n to decorate streets.
His father told him about the famous slogan of Pakistan movement; “Pakistan ka matlab kiya, La Ilaha IllAllah”. Shabaz was so catched up by this ; he took his head out of his home’s door and started shouting “Pakistan ka matlab kiya, La Ilaha IllAllah… Pakistan ka matlab kiya, La Ilaha IllAllah”…People passing by the door saw this small kid and passed gentle smiles on his passion.
Then, he started learning how to make Jhandiaa’n to decorate his street and home. He reached his uncle and asked him to teach him this art. He learned making Layee from Aaata and how to make multiple Jhandiaa’n sticky in no time. He was so pumped up that he started making in the sun cracked afternoon with long threads of Pakistan flag mounted Jhandiaa’n including Green, Red and blue color. Uncle also told him how to bundle up these long threads into a bunch and also instructed him to take them back in the same way after 14th August to avoid wastage. “Beta is jhande ki be-hurmati kabhee na hone dena”, he listed and noted all this with care. A huge satisfaction always embraced Shahbaz after he looked upon his hard work; the decorated piece of home and street.
He used to run from one street of Muhalla to the other with his close friends where the competitions of decoration were going on. At times, some older guys used him for Mukhbari, “Beta jao zara dekh kar aao, saamne gali waloon ne kaisa decorate kiya hai aur kiya kiya lagaya hai” and poor him used to convey such useful information from one place to the other in greed of being closer to the preparations. Flurry of national songs while decorating the street at night were a special beauty of all these happenings and all Pakistanis fuelled with genuine national thrill and passion.
On 14th August, he used to attend Independence Day ceremony in his school which was filled with colors, excitement and passion. After days of rehearsals, children used to make this a memorable event. The event was filled with songs, tablos, passionate debates and an insightful address by the school’s principal. Shahbaz once participated in this event with a national song “Mai bhee Pakistan hoon, tu bhee Pakistan hai”; a song which implies love between various cultures residing in Pakistan, their integrity; their pride and love for Pakistan. After many bloopers during rehearsal; Shahbaz was able to deliver it perfectly on the given day with two of his best school friends. All children used to get a piece of Mithai at the end which was an important carrot of the day.
After the school, Shahbaz used to visit a nearby ground having a Tape-ball cricket Azadi tournament and enjoyed every hit with the exciting background commentary with his friends. While returning from school, the activities keep on happening one after the other. Be it watching PTV with ceremonies showing national harmony and integrity or be it participating in events organized in Muhalla. The whole day was such a treat.
Shahbaz’s father used to tell him impressing things about Pakistan; its heroes and little Shahbaz used to listen with amaze and open mouth. “You notice beta, 14th August’s weather is touch different from any ordinary day, be it less 14th August always carries drizzle to make it a classy day” and so was the reality. “Beta you also notice the magic between 14th August(Independence Day), 25th December(Quaid-e-Azam’s birthday) and 11th September (Quaid’s death anniversary); they all always fall on the same day of week be it Monday, Tuesday or any other day” and this also remains a fact.
So, Shahbaz was brought up with such childhood events with a sole belief in Pakistan’s existence and as he grew; he used to see much more of Independence Day celebrations. He always went out especially on the 13th August night be it on the Sea view (Karachi) or at the Minar-e-Pakistan (Lahore). He witnessed great behavior of celebration among his nation on Independence Day; a relaxing charisma that made everybody happy at 14th August.
Many passionate overseas Pakistanis used to celebrate their independence day outside the country with pride and glare. They used to arrange ceremonies and listen to national songs to ignite and keep the passion keep alive in their hearts. Few crazy people used to visit Pakistan to feel the celebration of Independence within their own people.
Then time passed, and the situation of Pakistan became worse every passing day on almost all fronts and we reached 2014. The day (14th August) was chosen by Tahir-ul-Qadri and Imran Khan for their Dharnas against corrupt system, brutality and Election rigging. The air was filled with propaganda with TV channels showing different views and stances on these protests. Some became pro government and some took flags of these two revolutionary leaders. Pakistani nation was standing divided right at the verge of August, 2014. Polarization is term used for all this; means there is no other way. Whether you are with us or otherwise you are against us. Insightful debates on Jamhooriyat filled the TV screens. People called it Jamhooriyat ka Husn in which people are waking up for their rights. Overseas Pakistanis were irritated and bogged up to extreme limits and faced mental disturbance of events shown on the TV channels.
Closer to 14th August, the most striking scene that Shahbaz saw on his TV screen happened near the Lahore residence of Imran Khan where there was a canal in between the supporters of Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif. All of them were carrying Pakistan flags and throwing stones at each other outrageously. Something broke inside Shahbaz, Ahhhh…He was crying deep inside his heart and his mind was revolving as if he was drunk. Two visible scenes emerged in his mind’s screen. One was showing little innocent Shahbaz shouting “Pakistan ka matlab kiya, La Ilaha IllAllah…Pakistan ka matlab kiya, La Ilaha IllAllah” and the other scene showing supporters of two different parties throwing stones at each other carrying Pakistani flags…above all somebody was continuously mumbling “Beta is jhande ki be-hurmati kabhee na hone dena”…Shahbaz somehow controlled his tears in front of people but he still carries invisible deep wounds of a missed Independence day.
On 14th August, 2014; Shahbaz searched for laughter, passion and peace. He found tears, anger and disruption.
Shahbaz want to ask Prime Minister, why he did not addressed this situation seriously well before to save August becoming dirty? Why can not he get rid of his reputation to Award relatives, lavish lifestyle, Pro-India attitude (in response to all their cracking acts against Pakistan) and a selfish businessman?
Shahbaz want to ask Tahir-ul-Qadri and Imran khan why they chose 14th August for their Dharnas and protests. Why you divided the nation on this day? Why you stole my Independence Day happiness? Why you did not foresee the clash on this precious day; why did not you apologize afterwards? You could have chosen any other day if your cause was right!
Shahbaz want to ask media why you ran in the flurry of breaking news. Why you created such Hype which divided the whole nation? You could have shown the good things happening in the country. You could have given more airtime to the celebrations and things which could relax all of us? Why you became party to all this while beloved Pakistan was waiting alone for somebody to celebrate its birthday!
Above all, Shahbaz want to ask the whole nation which was holding different poles and flags. Why you accepted all this? Why you did not focused on things of same interest? Why you allowed people to hijack you? Why can not you lead yourself? Why can not you throw Hypocrisy away from your character? If you really love Pakistan, then how can you hate your own brother just because he is holding flag of a different party? Why???
Shahbaz want to ask all above parties; why you made me sick instead of happy? Your acts took away long-lasting happiness of Independence Day away from me. What memories will I recall from this 14th August, 2014? You inserted an unwanted Gap in my life, a deep invisible wound that will never heal. I will never forgive you all…
Author’s Ending Note:
Out of severe packed up schedule, I could not write all this in August but this remained like a huge debt which is fulfilled today, Alhamdulillah.
Thought of the day is that the people who are involved in such big/shameless scandals of financial and moral corruption, how can they take us to our destiny? However, “Momin is never hopeless despite any circumstances”. We can still keep trying at our levels to reach unfulfilled dream of Pakistan’s creation. As Iqbal rightly said:
Nahi Hai Mayus Iqbal apni Kisht-e-weeran se
Zara Nam ho to yeh matti bari zarkhaiz hai Saqi
This article was published at following, dated 27th September, 2014
Article No: 26