Independence Day was celebrated in Pakistan on Monday (Aug 14). Flags were hoisted in almost all buildings across the country. Children were happy and were found enjoying national songs. Different shows were conducted. School-going children took part in the Independence Day show. Everyone was happy because it was the national day of the country, the day on which the country was created. It was the day on which the country achieved the state of being an independent state. At midnight, bullets were fired in the air to mark the 70th year of the country’s independence. The day was enjoyed by everyone across the country. In fact Overseas Pakistani too shared heartfelt messages and hoped to see a better country. The day ignited the patriotism of the people. However, the next day, everything went back to being normal. Enthusiasm and zeal took a back seat. After watching the celebrations at such a large scale, I had only one question: Are we really an independent state? Have we freed our society from the toxic mentality of the majority? Backwardness in our country is rampant.
It is unfortunate that our country still has a large number of people who don’t send girls to school. According to them, girls should not be allowed to attend schools and receive education. In our country, students are not given free will to choose a career for themselves. Many people strongly believe that the intelligence of a student can only be proved if he is accepted in a medical or an engineering college. The ‘land of pure’ is unfortunately full with corrupt people. Our country is still divided by caste, religion, colour, race and – most importantly – by political parties. We live in a country where new ideas and innovations are ignored. The people of this independent country are not independent. Freedom does not mean to have the liberty to throw garbage on streets, but it means to be free from all wrong intentions and from false ideas. It means to select a leader by choice and not by force. It is time we changed our way of thinking. It is time we acted like an independent country. It is time to bring the much-needed change.
Syed Mohammad Zafar Abbas (Karachi)