Wednesday, August 14, 2013

AUGUST 14- A DAY AS USUAL FOR MANY



MAHTAB BASHIR
ISLAMABAD

mahtabbashir@gmail.com



Aerial firing, riding bikes at high speed without silencers, blowing crackers and fireworks arms and eve teasing is the way we tend to celebrate our important days and festivals, especially 14th of August - our Independence Day.
Celebrations are another name of indecent display of rowdiness across the country.Although everyone gets excited and proud on August 14 and wants to share the happiness and joy with other countrymen, but getting outside the house with family means meeting ruffian youth on the back of bikes and other “thugs” occupying the roads. One wants to get out of the house with the family and enjoy the decorated buildings, and lighting on the towers and mosques, but it is impossible to go to these places and enjoy a nice time with family members due to rowdy youth.

This attitude has become the hallmark of the way we celebrate Eid, Ramadan, Independence Day and all other auspicious occasions. When this scribe contacted a number of people from various segments of the society and from varied age, they blame illiteracy and poverty behind this indecent hooliganism. “Social behavior is an advanced action which directs specific behavior towards others. A majority of our youth – not only illiterate but also literate – have psychological problems so when they step out on the streets, there mannerism, attitude and respect for other changes for the worse,” they opined.
At around this time each year, people talk about the sacred month of Ramadan, how it ought to celebrated and how its true purpose is to understand how those in need feel. This year, the Independence Day arrives after Ramadan and it should be a time to think about how we have been celebrating the Independence Day in the past.
A number of people told Pakistan Today that if ever there was a time to demonstrate just what the real meaning of Ramadan and the real significance of Independence Day was, this was the right time. “The message of Ramadan – of understanding and feeling the pain of those in need, and of opening our hearts to share with those less fortunate – comes perfectly timed and perfectly in tune with the challenge we face today. Would this not be the perfect time to do just that: to open our hearts and hearths to share with those less fortunate?” said Amna Raza, a lady shopping at Super Market (F6 Markaz).
Another August 14 will be celebrated tomorrow. Thousands of youngsters in green and would be pouring on to the streets, but it would make little difference, just like it did not in the past 63 years.
It is often said that youngsters are the future of this country. Pakistan is the country with maximum population of youth; the one which is seen one wheeling from Faizabad Interchange to Constitution Avenue in Islamabad. Others show their love for Pakistan by lighting fire crackers, some performing stunts on bikes at high speeds, not knowing that slipping an inch could cost them their life. 

Hamza Khan, a young boy at Jinnah Super Market said Independence Day should be celebrated in a simple manner, but first of all we have to show solidarity with one another. “Get clear of the thoughts of racism, we are not five, we are one! God never asked me if I wanted to be Punjabi, Sindhi, Pathan, Baloch or Gilgiti. We are Pakistani’s and we should celebrate our day of independence showing unity,” he said. Another said “we must carry on with this passion of I-Day throughout the year. We are at war, real war. We are facing challenges and crisis. We are down and we are bruised. We are threatened by terrorism and we are choking under a huge debt. If we are to address issues of poverty, hunger, desperation, law and order, we need to do so not by treating the cancer with aspirin but with radical surgery. We have to do it ourselves”. 
Osama Pervaiz believed the media could bring about a positive change and make the youth aware of what to do and what not to do on August 14 for the betterment of our country. “If our next generation can come forward and take charge and get all politicians and other corrupt people who are proven guilty by the law are actually sentenced, serve jail terms and are asked to leave our homeland; I believe the country can breathe for a brief time independently in real terms. Then I can spend the Independence Day with a flag in my hand, dancing madly on the tunes of national songs,” he said.






Mahtab Bashir is a journalist working for Daily Dunya, Islamabad and an independent blogger. He can be contacted at mahtabbashir@gmail.com

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