Independence Day Musings.

Switching through the different FM stations the other day, I caught a back to back of patriotic songs on 103.0. It was more of a medley; remixed versions of old and new songs alike. I decided to listen to it and it got me thinking about MB’s post on how few stalls we see this year with the national flag, “jhandian” and badges etc and how there aren’t any patriotic feelings in the city anymore. I was startled to realize that I haven’t had a single patriotic thought or feeling in ages! I can’t even remember the last time I had any. Sure I don’t want to leave the country like so many others but the reasons for that have nothing to do with patriotism. Last night, I only realized that our independence day had arrived because of the firecrackers that started going off and I couldn’t wait for them to stop so that I could sleep in peace.

I remember a time when people used to take pride in decorating their homes with jhandian and used to put up flags well before 14th August came. Seeing huge flags flap in the wind on top of various houses was a novelty. Little kids wearing badges and having their very own small flags that they would wave out of cars or take to school.

Its ironic really, how at one time our elders used to complain how people don’t respect the flag. Letting it stay up even after the independence day and not caring what happened to it as it would usually come down only after it had been torn or whipped away by the wind. How they used to grumble when those paper jhandi’s would come under their feet because people had thrown them out after the independence day was gone in order to de-decorate their home. Now we have the opposite to complain about. We don’t see enough flags!

The heart of the problem though remains the same – We don’t care or respect the most important day in the history of our country…and perhaps, if we let it be, the most important day of our existence and of those of our past and future generations.

When was the last time any of us felt patriotic? Or even had a patriotic thought? What is our “patriotic contribution” this year? For all my big words, my contribution is nil. All Ive done is pin a tiny flag badge on my book bag.

Happy Independence Day everyone.

25 Comments so far

  1. br0ke (unregistered) on August 14th, 2007 @ 7:58 pm

    hmm this is interesting i got this in a txt….
    if wht a king runs is a kingdom ….
    and wht an emperor runs is an empire….
    then why is our called a country????

  2. desi (unregistered) on August 14th, 2007 @ 9:36 pm

    Isn’t patriotism haraam people?! To feel a sense of patriotism to an artificial nation-state instead of to the entire ummah or to your religion is just wrong. What is a country but a piece of land with man-made boundaries. It’s something completely man-made — look at any country — No country is natural — To feel patriotism to something man-made is akin to idol worship as idols are man-made. You should feel a sense of loyalty to all your co-religionists around the world – that is the correct ‘patriotism’.

    This man-made country patriotism just serves to divide the Muslim ummah — An example: the Muslims in Pakistan consider themselves Pakistani and feel pride and patriotism to Pakistan whereas Indian Muslims feel pride and patriotism to India. Where has each country’s patriotism led it?? Answer: war. If we felt a sense of loyalty to our ummah, we wouldn’t feel animosity and hatred to our Muslim brethren in India.

    Look at what ‘patriotism’ has done to Muslim countries in the Middle East — specifically the countries making Transjordan. It has split it into separate man made countries, and people are supposed to be patriotic to their little parcel of land, even though their neighboring country’s citizens are the same as them (Arab).

    I’d be curious to know other people’s views on patriotism – I’m surprised no mullahs have issued a fatwa against patriotism.

  3. Balma (unregistered) on August 14th, 2007 @ 9:58 pm

    * Desi writes:

    Where has each country’s patriotism led it?? Answer: war. If we felt a sense of loyalty to our ummah, we wouldn’t feel animosity and hatred to our Muslim brethren in India.

    **** But, that won’t stop the feeling for slaughtering the Hindus! I guess that is what your your thinking i,e, ‘Mullah Gardee’ says.

  4. @balma (unregistered) on August 14th, 2007 @ 10:10 pm

    @ Balma, I have no issues with Hindus. I count many Hindus amongst my close friends and I love them like any other Muslim friends.

  5. Kamran (unregistered) on August 14th, 2007 @ 11:01 pm


    Surely you are joking, right? Its an overlong joke right? or are you serious? no, i think its a joke. or is it?

  6. Balma (unregistered) on August 14th, 2007 @ 11:10 pm

    Actually, when Iqbal said:
    Saaray Jahan say achhaa Hindustan Hamaaraa,
    Sahir Ludhianvi was amused and said:
    Rehnay ko ghar naheen hae, saaraa jahan hamaaraa.

    So, this is the condition of Muslims and Ummat (guys this is not an Arabic metro blog, so stick to ummat) kee sunaaa rahae hai’n.

    Also, it is funny that on Pakistan’s independence day, I had to quote Dr. Alama Iqbals Indian anthem ;-)

  7. Reality_Check (unregistered) on August 15th, 2007 @ 12:18 am

    @Extinct this jhandian and tarana culture was introduced by Zia-ul-Haque before that 14th August, was a non event.This diversion technique by Zia did caught on for a while, but the thing with any celebration is that it cannot be artificial, the feeling of happiness and joy has to come from within. When as a nation we start to experience that feeling of pride and happiness then we will have true celebrations.

    @DESI as for the concept of Muslim Ummah it starts and ends within the boundries of Pakistan. As soon as you knock at the Airport of another Muslim Nation and they make you stand in a separate line for Pakistani’s your ummah fever comes down in no time. Let me remind of two proud muslim nations that are doing really good w/o the ummah mentality i.e. Malaysia and Turkey. Its just a matter of establishing your identity and doing what make sense. However, I agree with you that over zealous patriotism doesn’t help either.

    Here I would like to share an interesting post from another blog by a fellow Pakistani:

    “Before 1947 we were ruled by British, we had;

    1/ A good judicial system.
    2/ A very upright civil service.
    3/ A good education system, that produced people like Faiz, Jinnah, Iqbal and other intellectuals from the middle or lower middle classes.
    4/ There was religious independence and security. No need to put armed guards during Namaz-e-Jummah or Eid.
    And the list goes on….

    So why did we fought for independence? of course, so that we can put our interests over that of Britisher’s and do what was primarily for our benefit rather than for some distant monarch. That makes sense, doesn’t it?

    Ok now, we cannot fight with history, we are Pakistanis lets make something of it, but first, let me deal with this guy who is constantly bugging me SLAP! …BANG!! …BOOM!!! “

  8. Ahmed (unregistered) on August 15th, 2007 @ 12:36 am

    To DESI: Please go #$%$ yourself! These are ridiculous arguments and bakwas ideas that have brought Muslims to where they are today.

  9. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on August 15th, 2007 @ 12:56 am

    The generation of 70s’ onwards have no idea what patriotism means.

    70’s onward generation may some day say – we share common culture we share common blah blah blah blah and when berlin wall can be demolished why not subcontinent be reunited.

    what Zia Ul haq have “successfully” frozen is the Fire in the blood of us Pakistanis which has created the country Pakistan.

    unfortunately Pakistan is the most strongest single country among the Ummah, but with the most DISTROTED version(s) of islam are cultivated in the country, again courtesy of – leadership be it political or the religious.

    – Patriotism – it is a feeling – stay away from pakistan for 1 year with a bondage of not to travel home before 12 months, – on march 23 same year and 14 august same year I can bet you will be crying in tears like a child, if somewhere you happen to listen to any of the Pakistani songs like dil dil pakistan, iss parcham kay saay talay ham eik hain, OR Yeah watan tumhara hai tum ho paasbaan iss kai,

    ask the people who are 2nd class citizens of any country what happens them on these 2 days – Cheers,

  10. desi (unregistered) on August 15th, 2007 @ 1:46 am

    @ Kamram: No I am not joking. I do feel patriotism and nationalism is haraam. I do not think there is any basis for it our religion. I challenge any reader to find an ayat or hadees that supports patriotism for a singular country/city versus a larger community that transcends these man-made arbitrary boundaries/borders.

    @ Jamal: Yaar, I do live abroad and haven’t been to Pakistan in several months – I did not feel anything today (14 Aug) nor do I feel anything on March 23. I think what you describe is homesickness and a fondness of what is familiar to you. That is a very natural feeling and I’m not questioning that. Everyone has a longing for their home and family and friends. But patriotism is haraam — am pretty sure about that.

    @Reality_Check: I guess I didn’t clarify that I’m not necessarily “for the ummah mentality”. In fact, in today’s day and age, it probably isn’t realistic (hence your name, I assume). I admit that. Thats partly because other muslim nations do not feel that all muslims are one community. My point in bringing up the ummah was merely to contrast it to a singular country versus our community/identity regardless of man- made (artificial) boundaries. We shouldn’t judge people based on what passport they hold.
    And I do agree with you, that objectively speaking, as a country Pakistan would have it much better if it attempted to emulate Turkey or Malaysia.

  11. MB (unregistered) on August 15th, 2007 @ 2:22 am

    There is nothing like an existence called Ummah. Its bullshit & thats it. The Ummah Iqbal referred to was in purely religious terms but in practical terms there are thousands of cultures within Ummah which give it different colors. There is no need to feel the Ummah-germ. Its the talibanic mentality of taking over the world with the crap theocratic logic of spreading ISLAM.

    And DESI, brother this piece of land that you tried to de-value from your emotional lecture, let me tell you there is actually a thing called patriotism and if you dont feel, thats fine. You can join some tabhlegi group of global-super-power-Ummah kind of ideology which wont happen in real till qayamath.

    Stop living in fools paradise. The difference in cultures is the beauty of ISLAM and Pakistan. Let every Muslim country have its own identity instead of trying to create a group known as UMMAH with 100% have same thinking towards life, entertainment,culture,politics and all spheres of life.

    Get over this Ummah crap. Pakistan is beautiful & strong with its own unique identity. With or without ISLAM it rocks.

    Pakistan ka matlab kia – Unity, faith, discipline and falaah (welfare).

  12. Asma Razzak (unregistered) on August 15th, 2007 @ 2:31 am

    KMB sux they don’t know anything but mourning……..

    Tusi har wailay ronday hi Rehna…..

  13. DESI (unregistered) on August 15th, 2007 @ 2:35 am

    @MB: You’ve completely missed my point. I am not for the Ummah – I’m not even religious. I shouldn’t have even brought it up. Read my response to Reality_Check to see my viewpoint on Ummah. In short, I agree more or less with whatever you have said regarding the Ummah.

    My point was that patriotism was haraam. If you think you need to feel this thing called ‘patriotism’, then feel it towards something bigger (as a suggestion, I brought up Ummah since people generally feel religion is a ‘bigger’ thing).

    But I NEVER implied we should become one with “100% have same thinking towards life, entertainment,culture,politics and all spheres of life.” Thats just pure crap. I love diversity. For the more religious readers out there I believe it is an verse that God created us in separate tribes etc so that we would be recognized.

    Please don’t change the topic, which is patriotism, not ‘let’s be one happy ummah’ b.s. as you have suggested.

  14. Reality_Check (unregistered) on August 15th, 2007 @ 7:14 am

    MOHAMMAD AKRAM has aarived! Lou kar lo gal!!

  15. Reality_Check (unregistered) on August 15th, 2007 @ 7:55 am

    @DESI I now catch your drift. So there is no point of contention between us. Thats boring :-(

    I am living in North America for a while now, with no problems whatsoever, but still I know what homeland means, it is surely not over zealous patriotism or a fancy ideology or slogan mongerring. Its a special feeling that stays with you forever and never lets go ….

  16. MB (unregistered) on August 15th, 2007 @ 8:08 am

    Fine that you don’t disagree to my point but if patriotism is haraam, its haraam for a a small thing as well as bigger one.

    If you used the word Ummah because people consider religion as bigger thing then fine, it seems reasonable to generalize it here but i feel patriotism to country supplements patriotism to religion & are not something to trade-off between.

    What i mean by this is, logically there is no such hting as “A PATRIOTISM” from which you divided between patriotism towards country = abc percent plus patriotism towards Ummah/whatever = xyz percent.

    I reckon they are both separate & 100% in their domain. So better keep the two colors separate. I mean just dont mix apple with oranges.

  17. nuzhat (unregistered) on August 15th, 2007 @ 8:44 am

    Oh please…. this whole ummat concept is so bogus. There is no way the Muslim countries will ever unite in an ummat concept. My identity is that of a Pakistani, and not an Arab or Malaysian or whatever. Plus, I somehow only see the Pakistanis talk about Ummat. I do not hear any other Muslims from other countries discuss this concept. I think this is all the rubbish the Mullahs feed us all the time (while their own kids study in the West).

  18. amin polani (unregistered) on August 15th, 2007 @ 10:01 am

    @Mohammad Akram — if it was not for these walli allah you would still be praying pegan gods and thinking you will be succeed, no body teaches to pray towards the tombs it is you who live outside say what ever you think, people with Wahabi mentality have now started to impose there ideology and they are the ones who have created differences in muslims and are trying to divide, they think they are only true muslims, but i say go back to your Harems in Jeddah and Riyadh we donot want you to dictate us, you have created taliban and supported them.
    Islam was not spread by sword but good deeds, you have tried to steal the true essence of Islam which Rasool Allah (SAW) have thought us, please dont try to impose ..

  19. Kamran (unregistered) on August 15th, 2007 @ 10:42 am


    ok so you were not joking. You feel that patriotism is haram. Fine, its your belief and you can stick with it. But in my opinion, I really don’t care if its haram or not, if its right in Islam or not. My belief is that I should be patriotic, i.e. if I identify with the ideology of the country. That is purely my belief, and everyone is entitled to their own.

    The moral: I don’t care whether its haram, whether its permissible in Islam or not. I believe that one should be emotional about something he believes in (that you have already showed in your post)

    kind regards

  20. Tapori Raja (unregistered) on August 15th, 2007 @ 11:44 am

    Balma, abay O Urdu medium k Pedawar. Tuney Nave’en Jamaat me apna ustaad k dimagh k waat lagaye thee jab wo Chmeistry parha tha na ka KEEMIYA aur Physics parhaye na k TABIAAT?

    abay dhakkan agar ye karachi ka blog hey tu ANGREZI me kio hay? Urdu mey kio nai. Aabay Dhakkan har koi free hay jis zuban me likhay, tujhe tu urdu bhe sahe se nai ati hogi ghalib k bhateejay tujh se ek shair ka matlab pooch lia tu tumhara naikar dheeli hojaye gi.

    Apni bakwas apna pas rakh. Tu samjha hay k tu boht aqal mand hay aur log teri “smart” ass-ness ko pasand karta haun jab j haqeeqat me tu ek gadha hay. ja side me beth aur loollipop choos. dimagh k waat na laga

  21. Umair H MIrza (unregistered) on August 15th, 2007 @ 4:54 pm

    scenes of this independence day were so shockingly different !! as if it was just a normal day !! i hardly any jhandi or jhanda around my area !!

  22. Asma Razzak (unregistered) on August 15th, 2007 @ 9:45 pm

    Umair: It was about Karachi ONLY. It wasn’t the case elsewhere in the country.

  23. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on August 16th, 2007 @ 12:08 am

    @ TAPORI – Janab jo zaban aap nai istemal farmaaey hai woh Bumbai ke sarak chahap rickshaw taxi driver boltay hain. Urdu nahi hai woh zaban, apnay kissi parhay lakhay baray sai poch le-jai ga, woh app ko durost farma dain-gai.. Allah app ko nayk hedayat ata far-mai – Ameen

  24. Balma (unregistered) on August 16th, 2007 @ 2:17 am

    I have heard the word ‘Tapori’ in Indian movies, always in some chhichoraa context. What does it really mean? Is it a gujrati or MarhaTi word? I doubt it is Gujrati, because otherwise I must have had heard of it by now in Karachi! MarhaTi word?

    Thanks to Indian movies, Urdu has survived in Pakistan. Otherwise, burgers in Karachi have done their best to kill the language.

    Note to junior burgers: there are lots of jobs waiting for you in Canada, for example career opportunities in McDonalds, building security etc. With no maths, no science – lets see what else you can do?

  25. burger (unregistered) on August 16th, 2007 @ 8:18 am

    Balma is just jealous that she’s not as cool as a burger. Balma, you know you want to be one.

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