Fall of National Pride National pride is best understood in the inflated sense that one’s nation is the best, often because it is more consecrated and superior than other nations. Somehow our concept of national pride got warped with the early demise of our Founding Father and the inept leadership that followed the notion of collective pride in being Pakistanis and set about developing individual vanity.
A conflict of identity, multitude corruption scandals, politics infested with corrupt politicians, frequent spells of marshal laws, numerous shackles on judiciary and gags on media, nuclear proliferation, unending episodes of match fixing , myriad incidents linked to “Pakistan based terrorist”, target killings and sectarianism, a nation riddled with economic woes et al, all this has wounded the national pride of Pakistan to a new low.
The results of a latest Gilani Research Foundation survey carried out by Gallup Pakistan has indicated that the proportion of Pakistanis who feel pride in their nation dropped drastically since the time of the country’s 50th anniversary. Ever since the great country of Pakistan was formed, it has been going through its ideological and identity crisis which dented the national pride to a great extent. Agreed, that the vision of the forefathers was to create a separate land for the Muslims of the Sub Continent. The Quaid was unequivocally clear about his vision.
He saw a land which was for the Muslims, yet a land which followed the great tradition of Muslims living in harmony with their Non Muslim brethren. A common thread binding them, called the nation of Pakistan. The second case of this crisis in the chronology is the crisis of East and West Pakistan. At the time of inception, Pakistan inherited East and West Pakistan with one and four provinces respectively. Population of East Pakistan alone was more than that of the total population of the four provinces of West Pakistan.
The seeds of identity crisis were sown with the ‘language controversy’, where by Urdu was declared as the national language of Pakistan while Urdu was the influencing language only in West Pakistan. This language controversy and some other strategies which lead to the deprived feelings among the natives of East Pakistan and the ultimate consequence was an identity crisis in the form of separation of East Pakistan in 1971. Social injustice and negative image of Pakistan on international screen also deteriorated the national pride.
Constitution is the base of any new born state but in case of Pakistan this base couldn’t be established even after about a decade of the inception of Pakistan. So when there was no base for people, the process of nation building started very late. Latterly the termination of 1956’s and 1962’s constitutions fulfilled the remaining part of delayed development of nationalism. Secondly the political system of a nation is the index of its distinctiveness. Unluckily, in this regard we have not been so fortunate.
Almost all the politicians have out shown the ability of exquisite attainment of their personal or group benefits. This created uncertain circumstances for the nation to achieve the individuality goal. In this situation the youth couldn’t get the proper guideline for the active participation in the national affairs. Another aspects was lack of opportunities for them to improve the national morale and to set positive trends, which further shaken the nationalistic bond. Part played by social injustice in the development of “we feeling” is not negligible.
This social injustice also arose at the very threshold of our independence. At the time of partition millions of Muslims migrated, leaving their valuables and properties. This gave the opportunity to some people to attain the acquisition of these massive properties. Such people latterly, enslaved some others in order to become ‘jagirdars’, and hence diminished the national pride in the form of ‘feudalism’, making people to forget the ideological agenda under which Pakistan was emerged. The lack of national pride on the part of mullas, bureaucracy and politicians started a power grabbing race.
The aftereffects are visible in the form of corruption, national disharmony, rigid attitudes, misconceptions about the religion (partly the role played by ‘mullas’), blind practices on unnecessary customs and a list of moral dilemmas. This lack of ownership threw Pakistan in an ignominious status both at domestic and at international arena. Domestically we couldn’t achieve the social status which we’ve dreamt during the Pakistan movement. Economically we stood at the back end of the global economic stage. And above all we were entitled as a ‘terrorist state’ due to some mismanaged and scattered groups.
Even some of them really didn’t have the basic knowledge of their ideological agenda. In present day Pakistan, the situation is more hazardous than that of one discussed in the previous phase. Now with changing global environment and with the changing role of Pakistan at international level, the nature of identity crisis has become more complex. The social and religious crisis work in collaboration. On the religious part, the extremist group has developed misconceptions about the religion. On the other hand the society is facing the ‘cultural war’ through different media.
In such a situation the nation, preferably the youth has contradictions with religious implications which is making them unaware of their ideological basis. In the second step the attractive evil (the weapon of cultural war) is becoming dominant. So the nation’s ideological basis is being deployed by the prevailing circumstances, creating identity crisis. In this case we can’t blame the young mind (as he’s not getting the proper guideline and he has not been trained in such a way that he can find the roots the purpose of his existence, secondly the so called knowledge of religion he gets is not authentic).
The second type of present day identity crisis in Pakistan is political in nature. In fact our political system has always been ruled by reigns in hands of few influencing groups. No such political platforms were built for the coming generations, to ensure their participation in national or international affairs. It is very necessary to train the youth for the participation in national affairs because they are the people who have to run the country in the future.
Unluckily our youth didn’t get any such training at any stage of our 59 years history. The ultimate result was that, the administrators belonged to a specific group, making others so annoyed that others even don’t care to have a look at the mismanagement. This imbalance in the political infrastructure restricted the educated youth to participate in the national policies and ultimately the process of policy making enjoyed the influence of un-educated and narrow minded policy makers, who couldn’t devise the identity goals of the nation till yet.
At international political arena we are still facing the vicious circle of ‘terrorism’. Even our government ensured Pakistan’s contribution in the ‘war against terrorism’, but being an Islamic state we become the suspect of any international terrorist act. Here the policy of state is ambiguous, which aims to satisfy the western world but the integration of Muslim world is not to be seen any where. In my opinion we don’t know that where we are standing right now, where we have to go and where we are going?
On the part of economy, no doubt our economy grew with in last half decade but only at macro level. The poor is still standing on the place where he was a decade ago. Increasing Unemployment, inflation, and poverty etc are not only contributing in social imbalances but because of these factors, a common man is not able to find the basis of his identity. The identity of a nation is its image, and our image today is ‘a tree whose roots have been cut’. This situation is actually showing our lost identity.
We have become much concerned about our outer look but we have forgotten the basis on which we have to develop our inner self. If this process keeps on going with the same velocity, the time is not far when the existence of our identity will vanish. It is very crucial to have a breach of the peace against identity crisis. In this regard the most important step is identity education. The identity education should be provided at educational institutions as well as in temporarily organized seminars (seminars should be accessible for general public).
Identity education will not work till we present a difference between different cultures. Media censorship should also be there in order to lessen the possible damages of cultural war. Media should also spread the knowledge of values among the common men. And last but not least we all should play our part to improve our religious image at international level. In this connection we can spread the true essence of our religion which is peace. http://www. scholarsclub. info/pakistans-identity-crisis