It’s that time of the year when most of us are busy buying Pakistani badges, green lights, jhandian (buntings) and preparing for patriotic school/college tablos and stage shows. Meanwhile, some of us are thinking since that 14th August is going to be a national holiday, which Indian movie should we watch.

It’s also that time when the biggest flag and maximum number of jhandis on the street determine which house owner is the most patriotic of all. Does anybody think what happens to these paper jhandis post August 14 ? Yes, most of us know the answer already. If rain doesn’t float them into the sewerage line, we will throw them into the trashcan ourselves within a month. My point is why go through so much hassle of decorating houses, streets and cars when you cannot even respect that flag the very next day.

The flag stays on one’s terrace until the bottle green color fades to pistachio green. I am not against patriotism or decorating houses and streets on August 14 but don’t you feel that we as a nation are missing the core essence of the Independence Day ?

Today, I see the Independence Day as more of a cultural thing rather than a day for exhibiting patriotism, maybe just another reason to take a day off from your office and place a flag on your terrace. If patriotism is the only reason behind it then why do we only witness this enthusiasm only on a single day? My love for my country should not be restricted to one single day.

My definition of Independence Day is far more than just hoisting a flag on your balcony and pinning a Pakistani badge on your waistcoat. Independence means establishing a country with the highest level of dignity, self-respect, education along with freedom of speech, accountability against corruption, proper justice system, well-defined gender equality principles and above all tolerance for all religions. 

On the occasion of Pakistan’s 68th Independence Day let’s not just restrict our national duty to hoisting flags and then get back to our filthy materialistic routines. Let’s try to build a progressive and tolerant Pakistan. All we need to do is take off the blindfold, initiate realistic dialogues, encouraging self-criticism within our social circles and identify unanimously that we are not perfect and also that we are not the greatest nation in this world. Let’s discuss how we can become one. Let’s brainstorm.

We need to stop bragging about our distorted glorious past and start talking about the wrong turns that led us to the present condition.  As Ex-President Mr. Pervez Musharraf rightly said, “Today we are the poorest, the most illiterate, the most backward, the unhealthiest, the most un-enlightened, the most deprived and the weakest of all human races.” Remember, the greatest and the most powerful revolutions starts when you identify the evil within you.

P.S: Please feel free to inbox me the address of the printer who is printing Mickey Mouse on Pakistani national flags alongside with Quaid-e-Azam’s photo, I would love to meet him. Also, Happy Independence Day to all!