It is time to mark the 7oth anniversary of creation of Pakistan. As the state of Pakistan marks this August 14 a special celebration for 70 years of freedom as an independent country, some thinking types reckon this as a moment of reflection and introspection — of looking back and counting what we gained and lost in all these years.
In academic terms, there is a strict historical glance backwards at the events leading to 14th of August 1947, variously referred to as ‘independence’ and ‘partition’ and its consequences: the mass migration leading to split families, homes left behind as well as violence and hatred leading to a bloodbath that continues in pockets across the three nation states that were born out of one India, one of these as late as 1971.
As commentators, young and old, in the Indian subcontinent refer largely to the loss of hope that today’s India (or Modi’s India shall we say) carries, what is happening in Bangladesh and Pakistan has taken a back seat for the time.
Those who happen to be in the business of news-making are cursed to focus on what’s wrong with the country all year long — its systems, institutions, individuals. There are of course occasional references to the time of creation of a ‘separate homeland for Muslims’ and how the contours of that struggle connect with the kind of homeland it has turned into.
Yet, it must be said emphatically that it is impossible to rewrite history and these countries are here to stay as independent states on the map of the world.
One could argue about the flawed sense of nationhood and its consequences but the post partition generations are tied to their countries of birth, no matter what. There are many people in Pakistan who would rather be here than anywhere else. In today’s Special Report, we at The News on Sunday ask a few thinking Pakistanis to write about what ties them to this country. This is aimed to restore some hope and give the people a chance to dream of something better and peaceful in the days to come. Over to these ‘hopeful’ accounts that are laced with love for the soil or are tongue-in-cheek at times or overly reflective and sad too.
Read the accounts: 70 years of independence