Seven decades have passed since the British left sub-continent after dividing the region into India and Pakistan. The countries are still struggling to recover from volatility and instability due to economic, social and political crises that originated due to dynamic global and regional socio-political situations. Contrary to India, Pakistan had to face more problems for being a smaller state with a handful of resources. The country also started struggling with an identity crisis as a debate emerged among in its intelligentsia on what will define the ‘Pakistani Nation.’ While the famous two nation theory answers what makes people living in the land of pure a nation, it fails to determine the status of non-muslim minorities in the county indirectly. On the eve of 71st Independence Day of Pakistan, the country not merely needs to celebrate its freedom from the British rule but also acknowledge its diverse cultural and regional heritage.
Independence Day of Pakistan And Need to Celebrate Diversity
Freedom is a universal phenomenon. It is not the sole property of nations who once fought against the foreign rule and an oppressive regime. It is the fundamental right of every individual. On the eve of 71st independence day of Pakistan, the country must hold itself accountable for how it is treating with the people who fall under its rule. In Pakistan, it is not difficult to determine who is oppressed and who is an oppressor. The country is much diverse by social classes, religious groups, ethnic groups and cultural groups. In one way or other various ethnic groups can identify themselves as oppressed people due to their status in the country or in a respective province or the city they live in.
Kind of Minorities Found in Pakistan
In Pakistan, every citizen has to play a role of minority somehow. Non-muslims, whether they are Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, and Ahmadis, make for a religious minority. Then, there are ethnic groups like Balochis, Sindhis, Punjabis, Siraikis, Pathan and many more. Further, there are divisions on linguistic lines, which are much prominent in Karachi the economic hub of the country, a city whose Urdu speaking population has a significant impact on its political atmosphere.
Apart from ethnic, cultural, religious, sectarian and linguistic diversity, one eminent segregation is by economic classes. In Pakistan which is a capitalist country, there is a poor class, lower middle class, middle class, upper middle class and an elite class. So, every person can be in the minority if he/she is at a place where people from his religious, social, linguistic, or ethnic background are present in lesser number.
Celebrating Independence Day by Embracing Diversity
A multi-cultural diversity is the beauty of Pakistan. It is a blow of fresh air that offers a respite in an atmosphere of oppression that remains dominant due to prevalent religious and ethnic bigotry. On the eve of 71st Independence Day of Pakistan, while everyone recalls the stories of the massacre of innocent people and cross-border movement of immigrant caravans in 1947, there is a need to take time out and think about the oppressed people. And, in a Muslim majority state, those who are suffering from repercussions should not necessarily be from the non-muslim background. A person from a lower social class, from a minority ethnic, linguistic and cultural group can also be oppressed.
We can fulfill the real purpose of celebrating 71st Independence Day of Pakistan only when we learn to respect our fellow beings irrespective of their background and just when we develop a sense of compassion for our fellow citizens because we share the common denominator of humanity and being Pakistani with them. On partition, millions of people gave sacrifices not because they were fighting against the foreign rules but only because they were in the minority and didn’t remain acceptable to the majority population for few politicized reasons. So, let’s promise not to ill-treat the minorities and show hatred to other citizens only because they don’t share the same religious believes or they don’t have the same cultural or social background. Let’s embrace the diversity of Pakistan.