Our Azadi – Same on You!

Pakistan is 70, but our practice of celebrating Yom e Azadi on 14 August is not 70 yet. Soon after the departure of the founder of Pakistan, his successors started to reform Pakistan pinch by pinch; and that pinching is still on. The first pinch of reform was to move the independence day from 15th to 14th August, so that at least on paper we look a day older to India. Look how brilliant a stroke it was to be elder of the twins.  Pakistan’s short history is full of such brilliant strokes.

To err is a part of being young, and to repeat that error means there is certain thrill or benefit in it. To get away with repeated errors and sustaining thrill also means we are free and independent. On that count, many of us celebrate Azadi many times a day, 24/7.

Pakistan is called ‘young country’ by demographers, as more than 75% of its population is under the age of 35. Less than 2% of people in today’s Pakistan were there in 1947, while less than 1% of them were 5 years or older. The point is that 98% of us know about ‘independence of Pakistan’ what we are told by our textbooks, or by elders. The stories of elders are sentimental, subjective and anecdotal. The stories in text books are purposefully fabricated, and selectively factual.

We can therefore independently call the story of our independence a fantastic story.

In 1947, Pakistan was carved out of the British India. So, in fact, it was India who got independence and freedom. We are yet to experience that. We loved the British so much we wanted to be it like them. As they say, mimicry is the great form of flattery, we thought to flatter by re-enacting both the partition and independence. We partitioned Pakistan in 1971 and gave independence to East Pakistan.

They named it Bangladesh, i.e., a country where they could speak their mother tongue. In our case, on speaking mother tongue, freedom is eagerly awaited. But what’s the hurry, after all, we are a young country and we have miles to go before we speak.

In those times we used to call this part of the country, West Pakistan. As soon as we learnt that all the sinful dwelt in the West, we dropped the prefix and became plain and pure Pakistan. In that plain and pure Pakistani sense, we are only 45.

But let’s not spoil our celebrations by such odd reminders. Every country has missed-history, and since history repeats itself, we can catch up our missed bits as soon as our history repeats those bits.

The purpose of this piece is to tell you how to take it easy, and really feel independent and Azad. Some fake Pakistanis will tell that you did not pick the place and time of birth, so why to be proud of something you didn’t choose! Don’t listen to them. They want you to pay heed to them and head to a wrong future.

Let’s celebrate instead in the right present by doing the following acts of real independence, which our elders did not know, and thus missed on lots of fun opportunities. It’s not just the history they fumbled.

First, Pakistan had a population of about 35 million in 1947, and now we are over 200 million. What does that tell us? It tells us that our senior generation mixed recreation with procreation. The first act of independence thus is to make recreation independent of any procreation.

If you don’t know how to do that, we can send you DIY guidelines. No, no; it’s not the Chinese model.

Second, adventure and play are two great ways of celebrating life and its bountiful thrills. In Pakistan, everyone does not have equal access to play and adventures of the right type. Hence most of us end up marrying a cousin, hurt ourselves in a wrong play and commit misadventure. The privileged associated with powerful institutions get to play and have adventure – both the right and the deep type of play.

If you look at the national games, you will see that PIA, WAPDA, Banks, Police and Armed Forces have teams who win medals, which means they get to play too. Some of them do not contain their play to the playgrounds only. They take it to other, better fields. On this, we assert our judiciary should indulge into actual and the right kind of play and adventure too. I guess wrestling, kabaddi, mountaineering and rowing would be very appropriate games for our honourable and adventurous judges.

Third, ‘marriage by choice’ is considered a great act of independence and freedom. Well, for many it’s still the parents’ choice which is presented as ‘arranged choice’. In case you are a young male who got into a forced choice, don’t give up. Take inspiration from the sons of our three time PM and CMs.

Though, the real celebration and freedom are in not-marrying for as long as you can hold it. Remember, variety is the real spice – and desert – of life. This part of the advice is more for women than men. Because for men the marriage is the end of the story. For women, the story begins there. Since every story seems great before it begins or soon after the beginning, try to keep it there.

Lastly, we are told that our independence will sustain if we kill our enemies, particularly the Indians. Well, I tell you this ‘killing the enemy’ is a stone-age idea. Now, the best bet is to be intimate with the enemy and kiss them (both his and hers of them).  But you must stick to the kiss. For, if you married the enemy too, the previous hostility may end, but a new feud will start. This feud then ends all freedom and independence, I tell you.

Now go celebrate both on 14th as well as 15th and mark the enemies you want to win over for Azadi. Pakistan Zindabad!

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Arshed Bhatti

Arshed Bhatti

Arshed Bhatti is a typical Pakistani who operates at very high level of confidence with extremely low level of knowledge. Being true Muslim he believes the real life is in the hereafter and urges countrymen to take it easy, and enjoy the talk shows. He writes songs, satire and fake non-fiction. He tweets @CivilJunction