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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Our Subjective Sense Of National Pride And Honour

Is it me or has someone else noticed this as well. We are very receptive to any Indian incursion in our territory and remain vigilant at all times. There are immediate exchanges of hot words, followed by the threats and the renewed promise of defending every single inch of the mother land from the "evil enemies."

But on the other hand, our brotherly neighbours from Afghanistan are allowed to wreak havoc on our streets and towns, with rather blanket impunity. No one cares about that intrusion and rarely display their sense of displeasure towards the, "national pride and/ or sovereignty" being desecrated by those folks.

Undoubtedly the drone strikes are catastrophically damaging, and the people who carry out those, often miss the intended targets. Hence, the backlash of that is felt vehemently from the so called "patriots." But the same patriots are muted, when the so called, "righteous" are leaving bloody trails on the cities of our nation. The "righteous" regard this as act of retaliation, a price that everyone has to pay for siding with the so called, "devil."
We never question the perverted logic of these righteous as all is fair in "misguided love and let's call it the holy war."

Our most trusted and revered institution for its "strategic depth", can violate the sovereignty of another neighbour, but it does not give us any sense of shame. Our defence for that one is pretty canned. It is a strategy that if we fail to follow, will benefit our erstwhile arch rival. Burning our own home, to give them a befitting response, seems to be fair game. Yet when in our skies, those rattling and pesky drones tend to violate the airspace, the immense itch of "sovereignty", engulfs all of us.

We earn a Rupee and spend 50 paisas to feed an institution to protect ourselves from the cunning rival. You don't need to be a genius and nobel laureate Economist to figure this one out, that there is a huge cost that our nation pays for such an inequity. It behooves us to figure out the reasons why, we are in such deprivation. There is an age old saying, that "there is no free lunch out there." Everything has a real and intrinsic cost. The cost is seen and felt, where one institution is thriving at the cost of the rest of country. Yet, our much talked about and worshipped sovereignty is always at stake.

When the empty coffers go up to the rest of the world to fill, no sense of shame or dignity over powers our collective national conscience. Yet, we want the world to be sensitive towards our dignity and pride. We make such a hue and cry about being held hostage by the shackles of IMF and the World Bank. We rarely come with tangible and real solutions to get ourselves out of such binds.

Rampant controversies and devious conspiracy theories envelope our national psyche at all levels. The common theme is as always, our precious and the unique, "Nuclear assets." We tend to be oblivious to the fact that our neighbourhood is full of such assets. Some of our neighbours do not shout off the top off their lungs, they are fully capable of displaying their "hidden talents", at an opportune time.

Often what escapes our imagination is, it is not the "Nuclear Assets", that feed the empty stomachs. Our "National Pride", may reside in Kahuta, but our "National Divide", hinges on the "Have and Have Nots", of the people all across the country. Things do not emerge on their own on our kitchen tables or feeding mats for that matter. Our population is soaring and the resources are shrinking day by day. Someone somehow has to pay for the bill.

Our expectations from the rest of the world are way too high and some how those "Eagles" that Allama Iqbal laid his emphasis on, are lost in some unknown skies. We renew our fervour on the anniversaries of our leaders, but some how stray away from their vision and rationale.

No sense of shame ever consumes our souls when we beat people to death on suspicion and innuendo or slay unarmed and unsuspecting people from the rear. We rejoice such cowardice with pride and bewilderment. Our collective conscience only wakes up from deep slumber, when people of a certain skin tone supposedly discharge their arms in self defence. No hue and cry is raised, when we behead such people and demonstrate to the world, our ultimate sign of civility.

We show our tacit sympathies and approval towards our own, who go out on suicidal expeditions, leaving the streaks of blood of so many, near and dear to us. But somehow, we disregard all of that as it is the despair, which is making our otherwise so positive crowd to react in this callous manner.

But in the end, it is the honour and integrity, our sovereignty and identity in the dire need of protection and preservation. We are willing to pay any cost for it. Believe me, we are paying a heavy cost for it. A cost which may lead to our isolation and perhaps total extinction.

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