Don’t you think we have become the most hypocritical of people? I know that every nation has its weaknesses and faults but wouldn’t it be a nice idea to at least accept and learn to live with those faults rather than pretending to be goody-two-shoes? Just look at our national holidays, Pakistan Day (when our country is anything but ‘Pak’ now), Iqbal Day (when hardly anyone remembers Iqbal’s philosophy let alone follow it), Quaid-e-Azam Day (In a nation fraught with disunity, lack of faith and indiscipline), Independence Day (now that one sounds hilarious) and so on. How about we replace these holidays with new ones now? Or at least add some new ones to these since there is no doubt we are a nation that is overly fond of holidays. Here are some suggestions to choose from.
1. 18th June – Dependence Day – In memory of the first drone attack on Pakistani soil in 2004.
2. 16th May – Doctrine of Necessity Day – In memory of that landmark judgment in 1955 that legalized anything as long as it was backed by the soundest of rationales, i.e. military force.
3. 7th October – Army Day – In memory of that fateful first declaration of Martial Law in Pakistan by Sikandar Mirza, who interestingly, was not an army General himself.
4. 9th September – 10 Percent Day – To celebrate the beginning of the Presidency of our beloved leader.
5. 4th April – Democracy Day – To remember the hanging, in 1979, of the leader who according to his supporters is still alive and will suddenly start coming out of every house. Har ghar se niklay ga.
6. 17th September – Bhai Day – It’s the birthday of Altaf Bhai, is any further argument required?
7. 4th July – Defence Day – No its not just US independence, it is also the special day on which, in 1999, Mian Nawaz Sharif said sorry and agreed to withdraw troops from Kargil in order to defend his dignity and that of the nation.
8. 17th March – Sports Day – To ensure we do not forget how, in 2007, the Pakistan team miserably crashed out of the World Cup after just two matches, and lost the life of their coach and some pride.
9. 16th December – ½ Pakistan Day – Since we lost half of our country on this day in 1971.
10. 21st November – Science Day – This was the day in 1996 when Pakistan’s only Nobel laureate breathed his last in Oxford 22 years after leaving Pakistan after being declared a non-Muslim.
I don’t mind the fact that we have forgotten all that the ideology of Pakistan or Jinnah or Iqbal stood for. But I strongly suggest we start celebrating these days so that we don’t forget all this. If we cannot take pride and learn from our brilliant history, maybe we would be able to learn from our shameful history.