Pakistan Day was, in all likelihood, celebrated with the same pretentious pomp as has been done over the past several years. For the proletariat, there will be hype, songs and fiery speeches extolling liberty, equality and fraternity. Our mullahs will magnify the greatness of the citadel of Islam that is Pakistan whose walls, without their forcibly noble contribution, would long since have been consigned to the dustbin of secular and immoral degeneration. The judiciary will celebrate our constitutional fitness. And our military brass, while ensconced in some requisitioned race course, will jingle their medal-encrusted chests and the ‘boys’ will run around with their missiles and toys for the rapt benefit of the ‘bloody civilian’ television viewers.
We need to reflect how close to the point of no return we, the people, have brought ourselves. Our relatively short history, including the traumatic creation of Bangladesh in the middle, has already largely proved much of the short paragraphs of the Lahore Resolution null and void, especially the one that relates to the adoption of “adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards” for minorities. Intolerance and illiteracy have increased along with a breakdown of civil society. Since, these are the basic constituents of nationhood, this is most worrying. The minorities have since long been made irrelevant and marginalised.
So what are we really celebrating?
Dr Mervyn Hosein
Published in The Express Tribune, March 24th, 2011.