I have vivid memories of celebrating Pakistan’s Independence Day in my childhood. Yes, every 14th August, I along with my cousins performed the same rituals of buying loads of buntings and flags, decorating my grandmother’s house with flags, buntings and candles, waking up early morning on 14th August to watch live the flag hoisting ceremony from Islamabad and listening to the patriotic songs sung by Sohail Rana’s trained and directed children choir. Nevertheless, one thing I always missed was the “21-gun salute”. A lot many of you would have followed the same rituals of celebrating the ‘Independence Day’ during your childhood.
I am a grown up adult by now. However, I stopped celebrating the “Independence Day” with the same zeal I used to celebrate this day in my childhood. Yes, I stopped because I was frustrated by listening to ‘mere patriotic slogans’ every independence day whereas in reality I observed people neither abiding law, nor honoring our constitution and thus polluting the ‘land of pure’ to the extent that It has been ranked among top ten failed states in Foreign Policy Magazine’s “Failed States Index 2009”. Nevertheless, during all those years of ‘not celebrating’ the Independence Day I loved hoisting a national flag on the roof-top of my house in Lahore. But this was it all, I spent the whole day every year sleeping and resting in my room celebrating “my holiday” from work. However, I commemorated the Independence Day in 2007 & 2008 with my fellow Pakistani and Australian students in my university in Melbourne (Australia) by dancing in university with our national flag. Well, yes Pakistan with its bad reputation across the world and its ranking among top ten failed states of the world is my ‘identity’.
This year, when I am in Pakistan again and Pakistan’s 62nd Independence Day is only a week’s away, I am wondering how to celebrate this day other than urging my friends to ‘Go Green Pakistan’ and change their display pictures on facebook in order to show unity as a ‘nation’ at least for one single day . My question to all of you Islooites is “How do you plan to celebrate the Independence Day this year (if this day really means anything to you)?”
Happy Independence Day to all of you !!!