The independence day of Gilgit-Baltistan is being celebrated today with its rational zeal according to the state machinery-A day when the local revolutionary force of the region rebelled against the maharaja of Kashmir and forced the Dogra Army to leave the region-with state sponsored programs arranged at all Tehsils of the costing millions to national exchequer.
The day is being interpreted by the state machinery as a day when people of the region rebelled on the grounds of Islamic ideology that marks the start of a new era but is it really so? Are we really independent??? Does this independence of ours remind us of any collective social responsibility? The ignored phenomenon relating to the day is that we have been detracting from our culture, identity, history and the inherited traits of our ancestors and the unfinished mission of our forefathers is lagging somewhere far behind. The day is realization of our collective social responsibilities for a moment and listens to the whispers of the woes of motherland.
Nations around the globe celebrate Independence Day to remember the freedom that has been passed down from one generation to the next but there is a different case with Gilgit-Baltistan. Our ancestors however gained independence but failed to retain it to themselves let alone passing it to the coming generations. Making this a focal point and moving ahead on the specified difference described in the earlier lines between Independence Day of nations around the globe and our ‘independence’ questions arise that what we are being taught on this particular day. Will anybody tell us to save our motherland at the expense of whatsoever? Will we be told that we have attained independence at the cost of bla bla bla…? How come we celebrate an independence that we have only listened of?
While the clans dwelling in Gilgit-Baltistan like Brushal, Shain and Yashkun fill the pages of history with acts of bravery and courage the generations following seem to be in an eternal sleep as came under the spell of the witch of sleeping beauty tale. Its heart ranching to see the following generation of Brushal, Balor and Dardistan so indifferent to the shackles of slavery that gripe them while their ancestors have inspired world acclaimed authors to bring out books like ‘Where the three emperors meet’ and ‘Between the oxus and Indus’.
True that the Independence Day is being celebrated with zeal and zest but no effort has ever been made to wake conscience of the people and bring it in par with demands of the time. There are some social responsibilities of alive nations about which the coming generations need to be made aware of. Otherwise nations remain mesmerized until they feel shackles of slavery getting close on their very throats and a researcher is seen struggling to find out language of the diminished nation.
It’s a hard to digest fact that cultural values and history of the nation surrounding the Indus River from the plains of Mohenjadaro and Harrapa to the mountains of Tibet is not translated into any language that the world might read and from the prevailing situation it seems a distant dream that will take centuries.
The very word independence demands out of the box meaning and interpretation from us that is indispensible to remove the fetters of slavery. Independence is not the name given to free movement in a specified area or to speak a specified dialect of a specified language, It the name given to collective social and political conscious of a nation. Independence defines the political and civic maturity of a nation that frames the very social lives of nations. Independence is the right to define the way to govern the collective social life of a nation by will of a majority of the nation.
Independence is to chart out the future of a nation by its people and armor themselves with the latest demands of the time. Independence is the forward movement of a nation in light of the cultural, traditional and historical values of a particular nation. Independence is the very guarantee to safe guard to historical, cultural, moral and social values of a nation. Confidence in the present and faith in the future is called independence. If our daily lives give satisfying reply to the aforementioned standards than we are an independent nation otherwise it is a mere mockery of the self and we need to give a second thought to what we call our independence.
The dwellers of Gilgit-Baltistan still are reluctant to give a satisfying reply to the very questions that define the term independence and our social collective behavior depicts an immaturity. We need to set a goal for ourselves as a nation and move ahead with confidence where we can see our historical and cultural values safe and alive.
The time is not of spreading chaos around. The time never demands divisions on the base of sect, clan or creed instead the suitable time has came to realize our collective social responsibilities and move ahead with unity among our lines and set a national agenda for ourselves. This is the real essence of freedom! We need to show political maturity through our deeds and not words. We need to safeguard our historical, cultural and geographical boundaries and have our say in the utilization of our natural resources.
Most of the decisions regarding our collective faith have been made by a handful of individuals who have no link either to our nation or its geographical boundaries. We need to change that embarrassing history and take the reins of decision making into our own hands. We need to think about the very fact that despite having 99 percent of the natural resources why are we left hungry. Not to mention the very basic fact that despite being the land of glaciers and mountains where the world’s largest water reservoirs are built our villages and towns still don’t have access to clean drinking water. We need to identify and expose the forces that roam free in an area of mere 5 kms after looting and plundering the city. The forces need to be identified and exposed on whose behest Gilgit city is being turned into an altar with hante blood of the common men spilling in the streets like water.
The 64th Independence Day is a day to celebrate getting rid of the Dogra culture and herald of a new era of waking of the conscience and to save the culture and tradition of the region.