"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: Abubakr
Full Name: Abubakr Ayesh
User since: 4/Jun/2012
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The Identity Crisis


Except for the some specific occasions-like Defense day or Iqbal day, I have observed that people rarely relate themselves with this soil; an identity crisis is prevalent in our society. A more profound observation told me that it is firmly entrenched in the society and has strengthened its roots recently. It further apprised me that this dilemma calls for urgent action.

Since its inception, this country has experienced lack of unity. Those who rewarded us with this sanctified land wanted the inhabitants of this land to be united under one flag. Their ambition was not only securing a motherland for the locals but also assembling every local under one identity; they wanted Pakistan to stand amongst the comity of nations, they wanted it to be a blissful state, they wanted our motherland to prosper, they wanted Pakistan to become a developed country and –for this purpose- they wanted everyone to stand as ONE under the identity PAKISTANI.

Nevertheless, both the leaders and the common people failed to associate themselves with this unanimous identity. The leadership always treated some faction of the population as inferior, thus ignoring and disregarding the socioeconomic development. The consequences of such attitude have been severe and grievous to say the least. The discriminatory attitude towards East Pakistan from the very first day aptly depicted the linguistic, cultural and geographical barriers amongst us. To make matters worse, our leaders never paid heed to such a grave matter: their policies led to further divergence between the two and eventually East Pakistan seceded. The aversion towards the deplorable condition of Baluchistan in terms of economic development, ethnic genocide, infrastructure and developmental projects has given way to riots and uprisings in the whole province. The writ of the government has been challenged and the government has just shrugged its shoulders until now. Therefore, the aversion of government towards a particular creed of people has been a major phenomenon behind the identity crisis. A recent speech by Altaf Husain, who chairs a major political party, delineates the condemnable contribution of our political leadership towards the linguistic and geographical stratification. His words not only instigate communal violence but also reflect a lack of contemplation of the current circumstances. He clearly condones and ignores the basic prerequisites for prosperity of a nation namely unity, peace and faith.

The point I want to make is that constant negligence and lack of good governance leaves a vacuum which is then taken up by the miserable masses that often use violent and ferocious ways to obtain their rights. This is why crime rates have soared up recently, target killing has created an environment of awe and fear, injustice has built disbelief and lack of trust in the consciousness of common man and protests against load shedding and rising cost of living  have convinced a substantial proportion of the population that survival in this country is becoming improbable.

Furthermore, incoherence amongst people is still present in various forms. People here distinguish themselves on the basis of caste, creed, ethnic and racial origin, and social stratification. Consequently, a reserved attitude is observed towards people from the “other” culture. This attitude is inherent in social relationships, matrimonial alliances, business dealings and other minor day to day interactions. I believe that this lack of trust helps explain the identity crisis.

Yet another causal explanation is the inferiority complex. Our nation has always blindly followed the west. Their practices, traditions and culture have been always thought off as superior. Our “educated class” has never given it a second thought prior to taking up their culture. Consequently, the national language has never received due importance. Instead, those who can speak influent English automatically attain a higher social status. Furthermore, those who have acquired western education are given priority in the job market; they have a more lustrous career lying ahead. The inspirational stories and personalities of our students are imported from the west –they have long since forgotten about their own heroes and instrumental figures in the past and traditional folk stories. Hence, they associate themselves with the western culture and ideology; some amongst us even loath our very own traditions and culture.  The educational system still reproduces the ideology of being the inferior one. Furthermore, lack of focus on local ethics and traditions in education and media has aggravated the problem of the identity crisis.

To conclude, Pakistan is our sole identity in this world, amongst the comity of nations. There is a dire need for a leadership that works only in the national interest rather than for a particular creed of people. An urgent but efficacious framework is entailed for propagating and promoting our own ethics, values, traditions and culture. Most importantly, it has become imperative that we establish a standardized educational system that not only suffices to modern day requirement but one that also reflects us and caters to our own needs. An awareness campaign is one of the simple ways through which communal beliefs can be suppressed, current ideology can be reverted or knocked over and Pakistaniyat can be popularized.

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