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Name: Mushtaq Ahmed CRN NO: 67455 RAET: National College of Business &Management Sciences (NCBMS) Islamabad.

IF You WERE BORN BEFORE 1947


Little naked kid clasped on the back of bull, migrating with his family towards Pakistan; the old man with wrinkled face, eyes glistening with hope and felicity; exhausted but optimistic crowd of men, women, and children thronging towards a new destination; exuberant young men with dust smeared faces; and some other vivid images on TV on 14 august filled my mind with a lot of questions. Why those migrating towards a new place were so euphoric? Why was there any need to create a new country at the first place? Was it mere difference in the names of two places i-e India and Pakistan? Was it only demarcation on the world map? What factors made them to demand a separate homeland? To answer all these queries my soul travelled back to the era before 1947. I thought as though I am the part of history. I could feel the impact of social injustices. I could fathom the magnitude of mental agony of being ensnared in the lower strata of society. I could hear music and loud drums in front of mosques. I could feel my lips singing Bande Mataram. I could see my people searching for their true identity. I could feel the urge amongst them for a place where they could get equal opportunity; where they could live as a majority rather than suppressed minority; where prospects of growing socially culturally and economically could be bright. This brief spark in my mind made me realize why these awfully hopeful migrants on TV were so elated.

There is no doubt if we were born before 1947 we would have been at the lowest ebb of our economic, social and cultural freedom. It is not difficult to envisage the life under colonial setup where there was British Rule alien to all denizens of the subcontinent- and Hindu monopoly in all social sectors. Just think at that time what idea of social freedom would have been to men who generations after generations had to live under the slavery of Hindu Bania to repay interest blighted loan? History is witness that Muslims had to live not only under the oppression of Hindus but also under the cunningly convoluted mechanized setup of British. They were indeed doubly colonized. The British raj had shrewdly developed the policies which were detrimental to Muslims social freedom to a great extent. The entire social structure was designed on the premise of keeping the masses especially Muslims socially backward to have ultimate authority over them. Persian which was the language of their ancestors had been replaced with a language which was totally alien to them i-e English. This barrier along with some other obstacles caused exceptionally high unemployment amongst Muslims. Socially there was a gigantic schism between Hindus and Muslim primarily created by British raj which was in direct connection with their policy of divide and rule. Hindus were given upper hand in almost all the sectors of society; they were financially strong, well educated, had healthy representation in government and were well off in corporate sector. This divide created a desperate urge in Muslims to have a place where they could get opportunity to progress and develop economically and socially. This retrospective analysis of circumstances tells us that our life would have been in fact, awfully miserable had we been amongst the creed of pre-partition era. Imagine the state of our religious beliefs when we would have been- instead of praying to our God- chanting the praise of Hindu Goddess Durga. Following verses of Bande Mataram depict how young and tender minds would have been confused about their religion. Thine the strength that nerves the arm. Thine the beauty, thine the charm. Every image made divine In our temples is but thine.

Thou art Durga, Lady and Queen, With her hands that strike and her swords of sheen, Whatd have been the meaning of religious freedom to us when wed have been forced to live with the majority whose religious beliefs are antithesis to that of ours? May be wed have been amongst those victims of Cawnpur who had been massacred while rebuilding their mosque after it had been demolished by a Hindu governor; may be wed been protesting on the streets of Lahore for the yet another demolition of mosque namely Shaid Ganj mosque- this time in connivance with British authorities. Pre-partition population composition of the subcontinent shows that Muslims made only 20 % of the entire population. It was very difficult for them to practice their faith with utmost freedom; there were so many practices which were bizarrely different from the beliefs of Hindu majority. For instance Muslims considered cow a sacrificial animal while Hindus worshiped it. Strict cast system prevailed amongst Hindus, while Muslims treated each other equally. How possibly nations so different could live together? So general outcome was that Muslims were barred from performing their religious duties in one way or the other. Loud music and noise in front of mosques was one of the tactics of persecution. By imagining oneself in such a situation it becomes clear that freedom of practicing ones faith would have been almost to bare minimum. Above all had there been a shred of religious freedom it would have been awfully difficult to guard it against the onslaught of movements like Shuddi and Shangtram (movements started for conversion of Muslims to Hinduism). Nations can not express themselves freely through art, literature, and architecture when they are subjected to sheer injustices and suppression. In such a case what would have been our cultural identity? Infact,we wouldnt have been culturally separate distinct nation; tradition and culture of our ancestors would have been eaten up by the culture of majority. Slavery is not the denial of physical freedom but it is also an excruciating state of mind were you are not certain that whether your posterity will be accustom to their cultural values or not; it is feeling where you see your rich culture vanishes into the culture of dominant majority. One sees such an example in history in1867 when prominent Hindus in Banaras started to demand replacement of Urdu with Hindi and Persian script with Deva Nagri script. We with our deep rich literature, art and architecture wouldnt have developed much under this sort of oppression. Pakistan wont last for six months an important British official had said this on the eve of independence of Pakistan and same notion was shared by the leadership and majority of populous of India. Which force made the prophecy of British

official and aspiration of Indian leadership go wrong? There is no doubt it was the deep and unflinching love of masses towards their nascent state. Love and passion to do any thing for ones country is called patriotism. Its natural dispensation of a man that he loves his country and this love becomes more intense when country is attained after a lot of trials and tribulations. Patriotism is very important because it allows individuals to care about their country as whole .Its also allows them to have pride in actions they take and the decision they make that are going to affect their nation. It is a voluntary emotion that peoples display in different ways. Nations can not survive without instilling in themselves the deep sense of patriotism for its very important for their very existence .Today status quo of our society makes some people believe that patriotism is an old fashioned concept. They believe that how can a person be patriotic when he has nothing to eat? How can a person keep divine and pure ideal of patriotism when everyday news pops up out of a news paper, as though teasing him, of drone predators trespassing Pakistani territory and trampling down Pakistans sovereignty to kill suspected militants? Where the emotion of patriotism goes when one comes to know that Pakistan has progressed in only one sector that is corruption which is evident from Corruption Perception Index? Feeling of patriotism turns into feeling of fear when one hear the news of his countrymen blown apart by none other but their own compatriot? how can one has a deep sense of love for ones country when there is corruption on rife, inflation makes life miserable, sports is full of corruption scandals, nations wealth is being squandered and when going out of home is not safe? The people who believe these notions are either nave or do not have an idea that with how much difficulties this country was obtained. Our ancestors got this land with much toil and bloodshed. There was time when offices were managed under the shadows of trees, when there wasnt enough staff to conduct official work, when newly born state had to manage one of the worlds biggest mass migration, when there wasnt enough funds to run the fledgling economy, when right after the birth this country had to deal with its hostile neighbor. Had our ancestors at that time been so pessimistic and devoid of patriotism the saying of British official would have come true, but they fought all these problems with the passion of patriotism. They imbued this land with their blood; they kept the ideal of patriotism alive; they nurtured new born country in such a way that its now almost 64 years old. What we, todays generation, fail to understand is that all the problems which we are facing today stems out of the fact that our passion for this country has waned, we are no longer as patriotic as our forefathers had been, we do not have even a slightest of inkling that how this state was made and what really freedom is. Every thing we have today we take it for granted. History is evident that Nations who dont know how to guard their freedom are often plunged into slavery again. Freedom does not come with ease, its the sweat and blood of our

ancestors that today we are breathing in free air. Though we can not grasp the true sense of mere word freedom, its impact on our life and its importance for our posterity, but wed have to protect it. Lets not shatter the dream of Quaid-e-Azam; lets not destroy the dreamland of those who never got chance to see it; lets protect it with full might.

Let freedom never perish in your hands (Joseph Addison)