“Dreams, Delusions and Denial”

Nov 9, 2014 by     No Comments    Posted under: Expressions, Opinions

Dreams – a ubiquitous reality are aspirations that are rooted in a man’s intrinsic nature. It is strange to note that  whether an individual belongs to the Borgia class or is a member of the depraved strata of the society, he dreams, and yearns to do something in life, something that enables him to break away the repressive chains of his life ,achieve something and consequently mark a significant change. In a Patriarchal society, where the unit of family is of utmost importance, dreams are usually envisioned by the Paterfamilias, who not only dreams for himself but also dreams for the entire family. The quintessence of dreaming for others is to dream selflessly, well beyond the shadows of bigotry. Same is the case with nations. The very inception of a nation is a product of dream envisioned by one of its leaders that acts as its paterfamilias, though not necessarily a male. Though a reflection of the common man, the leader has the courage to dream, to dream when all seems bleak and disapproving and consequently serve the nation. His imaginative faculty reaches its pinnacle motivated by his desire to change the status quo, to carve a possible from the seemingly impossible.

It would not be wrong to say that the paterfamilias of our nation, our homeland was Iqbal-an altruistic leader belonging to humble beginnings, who not only managed to influence the East but also the West by virtue of his in-depth critical analysis of Man and Nature in general. He was the man who had the right intellect and wisdom to foresee what others at that time were not able to see. Though initially an ardent supporter of Hindu-Muslim unity, he later on worked tirelessly towards making the Muslims realize their true status, the fact that their glorious and potent history escalates them and it is their right to seek freedom from the shackles of Hindu domination which was not only suppressing their intellectual growth but economic opportunity and cultural autonomy as well. The War of Independence 1857 served as a tipping point that made Iqbal realize the bitter truth that the Hindus were capable of backstabbing for attaining their personal ends and  this led  Iqbal to envision a separate state for the Muslims of the subcontinent. After an arduous  struggle of enlightening the Muslim minds , finally in the Allahabad address of 1930 he pronounced his dream of  a separate state for Muslims of the subcontinent, a state  where they will enjoy freedom in true sense and spirit, where unity would be their morality, where they would not be victims of suppression and most importantly where equality and justice would be the order of the day.  Iqbal did not live on to witness the realization of his dream into a reality, but he had an inkling that his dream would be realized and Muslims will dwell in peace.

The biology of trust and expectations is strange. Both when thwarted cause immense pain. Iqbal trusted us, had huge expectations from us. But what did we do? Did not we simply break his trust and deluded ourselves from his expectations. Did not we transform his beautiful dreams into gruesome nightmares? Claiming to be followers of such a mighty legend, why are we habitual of denying and deluding ourselves from what  he deemed to be the imperatives for the proper functioning of the state? Are not our nefarious acts worth bringing humiliation to our leader, our legend whom we supposedly claim to follow and whose ideals we proclaim to worship? We are the followers of a legend who was an ardent supporter of the virtues of equality and justice. The pertinent reason why he wanted the Muslims of the subcontinent to dwell in a separate state was due to the very fact that they were subjected to discrimination in United India, their social, political rights were breached and there was no respite from this intolerant attitude. Being the followers of Iqbal, it was our duty to hold true to his virtues and ensure that equality and justice reign supreme in Pakistan but didn’t we divide ourselves into factions, into groups that are chief manifestations of our divisive nature? Why do we delude ourselves from the fact that we too were once a minority in United India? If wrongs were committed against us, does it necessitate the repetition and reciprocation of the same wrongs on people who are not even to blame for the heinous wrongs incurred against us? Do we think that Iqbal would have prided in the fact that his followers are hollow souls who lack any moralistic streak and believe in quelling their frustration by seeing others in pain and agony. Are not we the ones who practice the brutal killing of minorities whether ethnic, sectarian or religious, in our country over petty differences? For how long will we use our religion as a tool to further our vested interests? The barbaric killing of a Christian couple in Kasur over accusations of blasphemy and also the killings of Hazaras in Balochistan are manifestations of our collective apathy. For how long will we keep on displaying such culpability?

Iqbal’s dream of an educated Muslim nation was too reciprocated with our brash denial. Education according to Iqbal was a panacea to all the ills afflicting the Muslims in general. The pre Pakistan creation events had made him realize the fact that the depraved situation of Muslims was a consequence of their abandonment of education. Therefore he wanted the Muslims to acquire as much education as they could. Education for Iqbal was a two-way process. It not only involved the attainment of degrees to pursue a vocation but also involved the arousing of self-consciousness among the individuals of the state. But what did we do? In our quest to obtain white collared jobs that guarantee a six digit salary, we failed to nourish our depraved soul?

We even forgot our culture. Culture which for Iqbal ,was an integral part of sociological life and basis of its flux ,was responded with denying gazes from our side. He believed in a close nexus of religion and culture. The two existed because of each other and  absence of one , necessitated the absence of the other. Iqbal wanted the Muslims to pride in their glorious culture as their culture was a reflection of their religion. But did we not tarnish the intricate fibers of our culture by being ignorant of the cultural imperialism taking place in our state. Why don’t we realize the fact that the Western trends that we too blatantly follow are poles apart from our cultural norms? Do we want our culture to die as well as did our morality? In the quest for modernism, we lost our true selves far behind and became a photocopy of someone else. We being forgetful, forgot everything, our roots, our religion, our morality all of which has played a decisive role in shaping us.

We as citizens of Pakistan delude ourselves from the grim reality and believe that  leadership alone is to be held responsible for the sorry state of affairs in our state. Thinking so  will not absolve us from our duties that we need to dispense as citizens of this state. Why do we forget that we are followers of Iqbal , for whom leadership was a mental ability. It was he who exalted the status of individual and made him realize that he was not a cog in the social machinery instead he had the power to cause things and set them in motion if he desired to .It was he who was the real leader. Condemning all others while not daring to look at the reflection of ourselves in the mirror will do us no good. If we have rulers who keep themselves aloof and detached from the happenings in Balochistan, and are in fact an echo of Nawab Aslam Raisanis apathetic attitude who was candid enough to say that he could not do anything about the ethnic killing of Hazara community in Balochistan besides sending the bereaved families a truck full of tissue papers to wipe off their tears, then it is we who need to speak up for the Hazaras, for the likes of Hazaras ,for those who are subjected to untold miseries. If our fellow brethren are dying in Thar owing to drought, water scarcity, inefficiency of government then it is we who need to come to the forefront and pull them out of this abysmal state. Why don’t we go there to inquire after them, assist them when we know the reality of the state of affairs? Some responsibility lies on our shoulders as well and morality demands that we dispense it.

The fate of those Nations are sealed which are not pinched by a desire to alter their gruesome state of affairs. It is time that we alter our slavish mentality and understand Rumis philosophy, “Ghulam ko ghulami pasand na ho,tou koi aaqa paida nahin hota” (If the slave dislikes his slavery, no leader would be born). It is time we alter our destiny by virtue of our zealous struggle, no matter how hard the circumstances be and prove to the entire world, Iqbal’s dictum, “Will not intellect is the essential principle for growth”, as this would entail shedding off our facades and realizing Iqbal’s dream in true letter and spirit.

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