Written by: Truth Revealer
14th Aug. our Independence Day has come and gone. I open my diary and begin to read …
Leaning against the cold damp window I stared outside. Thunder raged and lightening ruled the heavens. The dark and gloomy sky seemed to be reflecting my thoughts as thick drops of rain pelted the earth. I stared outside my heart beating wildly, blood roaring in my veins and pounding at my temples…my eyes bloodshot. It was morning. It was 15th August. And I stared oblivious of everything…I stared at the sky with such ferocity as if it was the reason behind my troubled thoughts. I was angry. I was mad. I was ablaze. A fire burned inside me—one that wished to engulf anything and everything that dared to stand in its way. I felt blind hatred. I was sitting on my bed, a dozen or so newspapers sprawled all over around me. Pictures of bloody bodies lying on the hospital floor, varying genders and ages stared at me. Images of torn, frayed flags littering the roads, choking the gutters, mocked me. News of people spending money recklessly in the name of celebration seemed to bite me. I pushed them away, trying to block it all out and get myself to do some positive thinking but it was to no avail. I leaned back, letting go and allowing my thoughts to seize control. Images began to fly around before my eyes when one particular memory grabbed my attention and I lost myself into it.
It was August 2008. I had hardly gotten over the incident of Jamia Hafsa when along came 14th August. It was the usual—celebrating endlessly for one day, wasting the precious money of the country and staining the pure land with all their might. I knew what was going to happen next—flags littering the roads, lacking the much-needed respect. People celebrating till late night, forgetting to offer their Isha prayers or was it deliberate…who knew…and then missing their Fajr or Zuhr prayers as well. Is this the really how Muslims celebrate?
That night while thinking of the real reason for which Pakistan was freed, I felt a sudden pang of pain as if someone was trying to squeeze my heart shut. Tears welled up in my eyes as I recalled similar accounts of the sacrifices that were made in order to bring Pakistan into being. With a painful sigh I lay back on my bed. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I stared emptily at the ceiling. I thought of the Muslims in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Palestine, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kashmir –the list was never ending. With all this pain and anger building up in me I burst out. I had my diary—which held similar outbursts—open in front of me. I had armed myself with a pen and lashed out inking the colourful, plain and clean pages of the diary.
Tears rolling down my cheeks, I look at the entry in my diary when I was twelve years of age. I bend down to pick it up from my bed where I abandoned it. It was open to another one of my 14th August entries, however, this one was dated 2008. It said:
Yet another year has passed. Yet another Independence Day has passed, but the change I have been seeking is yet to come. The true reason for which Pakistan, my beloved land, was created is yet to emerge from the sacrifices of our elders. I always hope for the best but what to do about the present that makes me cry tears of blood, that makes my stomach lurch and my heart clench in fear? People are dying by unnatural causes every day. A bomb blast in a school or in a mosque. The absolute fact that no one can change is… Muslims are the ones killing their brothers, robbing their sisters, and making their mothers cry tears of agony, pain and despair. I feel so much anger, rage and pain that I don’t know how to contain it. Yesterday was Independence Day and it wasn’t any better than last year's—it was worse. Numerous killed by the blind shots that were fired in order to celebrate Independence Day. Was this how our ancestors wanted us to appreciate our freedom—by killing fellow Muslims? Was this the Pakistan they dreamt of? A country people are running away from, abandoning it, thus laying waste our beautiful land? Is this how we—Muslims—define the meaning of the lyric: Pakistan ka matlab kia…La ilaha illallah????
We were supposed to spread the bright light of Islam and build this country into one that would be a haven for other Muslims. But what are we doing? I am haunted by the accusing looks of orphans of Swat asking me for their parents. I am followed by the innocent cries and pleas of the hungry children of Kashmir who beg me for food. I am shadowed by the guilt that I am neglecting my duty as a fellow Muslim. I am scared of the Day of Judgment when the oppressed will have free rein to complain and when they will have the right to drag me to Allah and say that I didn’t do anything when I had so many chances, so many opportunities. And that's when I am like I need to do something. I know the best lethal weapon I got against such circumstances is Dua, so I pray to you Allah…guide us and show us the right path. O Allah protect my Pakistan … keep it safe from the evil of its enemies and may it prosper into a country the Muslims need so desperately.
I let go of my diary and sit down on my bed. My cheeks are stained with my tears, eyes puffed with excessive weeping, I take a deep breath. My thoughts calm down a bit before starting back up beating at each other furiously.
Is this the land Muhammad Ali Jinnah strived to gain? Is this the land for which millions of people sacrificed their lives? I ask YOU… Is this…Is this really the land Iqbal dreamt of?