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Friday, 20 January 2012

Are we free yet? (The article that follows was written for ICAP writing skills competition)

If You Were Born Before 1947 
What we have we take for granted, but nothing is real till it’s gone … like freedom! Imagine what your life would have been like in social, cultural, and religious captivity… if you were born before 1947.Tell us if you think patriotism is an old fashioned concept, or an ideal that must be kept alive. 

R.A.E.T: Tabani’s School Of Accountancy 
Name: Mahwish Bhatti

Saturday October 18, 1930. (80 years earlier)

Bibi Gulshan Ara had been a very bright apprentice. Her teachers were optimistic that she would earn laurels for all those whom she represented. The confidence encouraged her to prosper. She enthusiastically walked inside the office of ‘The Sir’. ‘Congratulations Bibi! You may be the first of your lot as per my knowledge, join us from tomorrow’.  She could hardly believe that she had been selected for the post. In the same daze she walked back home when her attention moved to heavy footsteps following her. A mob of Hindu boys pounced upon her, firing curses as they ripped her clothes apart. The British guards soon joined in and the girl was tossed from one man to another.

Later that evening, the noble mourned the death of that young girl and conveyed their condolences. While, the activists sought to torch the houses of those Hindu lads to avenge her blood.

Saturday October 18, 2010. (Present day)

Misha was anxiously waiting when finally the bell rang. She sprang up to receive the call. The operator gave her the details and hung up.  The young lady could hardly wait for the next morning. She donned her best silk gown with a matching scarf that also served as face veil. Misha arrived at the ‘prestigious firm’ half an hour before the scheduled time. Many would have dreamt to be in her place that day. She swiftly stepped inside the cabin of ‘The Partner’.

‘You have been selected; join us from Friday 22 October, 2010. I assume you are the first one of your kind’. She was happy beyond words as she left his cabin. However the receptionist called her and said, ‘I would like to make one thing very clear, we sell human resource so we do what suits our clients best! Talibanisation is not welcomed here. You think discrimination is unethical, eh? Well not according to us. Get it? Some get offended by shedding off clothes while others get offended if you put them on, how is this different?’. He banged the table and tears trickled down Misha’s cheeks. She soberly apologized and did not join the organization.

Later that evening, the human rights activists conveyed their sympathy over the ordeal Misha had to go through. While the newspaper groups asked her if they could make this a media-issue and impart justice to the receptionist.

Bibi Gulshan Ara is reliving in the form of Misha’s of today. Before 1947 it was physical assault, after 1947 it is mental assault. Before 1947 the veiled ladies were raped on side walks and roads, after 1947 the veiled ladies are abused inside large offices. No injury is deeper than an insult. As nations become civilized so do their means of torture, the injuries that are inflicted now leave no physical marks. Mantra is still the same only the characters have changed. Pakistan was needed as a recluse so that people will not be forced to adapt to the Western ideology, they will have their rights to practice their belief and will not be slaughtered if they slaughtered cows (an act of faith).  

 The Islamic Republic of Pakistan was acquired in the name of religion. Pakistan ka matlab kia? La ilaha illal lah. (What does Pakistan mean? There is no god except Allah). The constitution of Pakistan states that no legislation shall be made contrary to Quran and Sunnah. Our ancestors gave up their lives and sacrificed all they had to break off the curse of slavery; they were the freedom fighters, who invested all their resources to acquire freedom. They aspired to have an establishment where following their religion/ beliefs would not be meted out with various forms of punishment. They wanted to prosper according to their custom and did not want to be dictated at every step.

The English left, but the tyrannies and oppression continue to corrode the moral environment. We are still the slaves of imported ideologies and theories. The British Raj has been replaced by IMF (International Monetary Fund) and NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). Do free nations allow repeated infringement of their L.O.C (Line of Control) or do they shoot the gunship helicopters down? Do free nations play as puppets at the hands of IMF or are their fiscal policies are made internally? We are still not free to frame our own policies; we have to blindly ape to the western Gurus in order to survive.

 The interest based system has penetrated our economy so deeply that most of us shudder at the thought of a life without a commercial bank, whereas it should have been vice versaBearded men are still abhorred at work places since they allegedly advocate extremism and rigidity. The formal environment demands formal attire so once again shalwar and kurta has to be replaced by a three piece suit if the person wants promotion or at times even induction. How different is the scenario from that before 1947? Not very different! Except that today it happens in the name of enlightened moderation, which is our new master.

Our ancestors had been captives and so are we, captives like them. However, they struggled to break off the shackles and be free. Most of us on the other hand are living under false delusions of freedom, we need to feel the bondage first the struggle comes much later. We were, we are and we have been living under social, cultural and religious captivity. We never broke free completely. The task is still unfinished; the goal was to get rid of the imported ideology corrupting our society and establish a new social order to acquire freedom in the true sense.

It does not call for imagination to empathize what life is like in social, cultural and religious captivity. If I was born before 1947, I may have been what I am today, ‘A Freedom Fighter’!

musafir ki manzil

- read this somewhere, in the morning today

Dunya kay Aii musafir! manzil teri kabar hai
taii kar raha hai jo tu, do din ka ye safr hai

Dunya kay Aii musafir! manzil teri kabar hai

jub se bani hai dunya,  laakhoon karooroon aii
baakii   raha  nai   koii, mitti    mai   sub   samaii
is baat ko na bhoolo, sub ka  yehi  hashar  haii

Dunya  kay  Aii  musafir! manzil  teri kabar  hai

ye   aalishaan  banglay,  kisi  kaam  kai  nahi   hain
mehloon mai sonay walay, mitti may so rahay hain
do gazz zameen  ka  tukra,  chota se tera ghar haii

Dunya kay Aii musafir! manzil teri kabar hai

aankhoon  se  tu  nay  apni, daikhay kaii janazay
haathoon se tu nay apnay dafnaii kitnay murday
anjaam  se  tu  apnay  kiun  itna  bay  khabar hai

Dunya kay Aii musafir! manzil teri kabar hai