Celebration and reflection should go hand in hand

Celebration and reflection should go hand in hand


Celebration and reflection should go hand in hand

LAHORE (Saleem Mubarak) – Come August and with it begin celebrations in connection with Independence Day. The event allows many to renew their pledge and commitment to (ameliorate the lot of) the country but more than anything else, it provides people with an opportunity to do honest soul-searching.

The overzealous ones wearing the badge of patriotism on their chests let loose their energies on roads and streets, displaying exuberance but no signs of maturity. One must bear in mind how the country has fared in several important spheres in more than seven decades. An impartial assessment of the situation makes one realise that it is more an occasion for reflection than it is for celebration!

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Such a sentiment was felt as one set about exploring the activities taking place to mark the 76th Independence Day.

While purchasing Pakistani flags for his children, Shafiur Rehman was arguing with the shopkeeper that “we have to tell the youth this Independence Day how to fight and resist corruption and nepotism which have been a bane of this country.”

Many other people Dunya News spoke to, shared the sentiment and stressed the need to rid the country of the menace of corruption and nepotism.

“Without an initiative aimed at beating corruption and purging society of corrupt elements, we cannot move forward,” Ali Raza, a student of international relations, told Dunya News. “We are battling on multiple fronts but corruption and nepotism are at the root of the malaise afflicting every segment of society,” he said.

Economic aspect

Thousands of stalls and makeshift sale points of Independence Day paraphernalia spring up ahead of Aug 14. They deal in national flags and buntings, trinkets, caps, masks, badges, T-shirts and trousers, bangles, wrist bands, glasses and balloons.

The occasion also affords countless people an opportunity to make a fast buck by selling these items, though the prices of most products are higher this year compared to last year and the sales are low.

Jahangir, a welder by profession, visited one such outlet at GPO Chowk to buy buntings for his two sons. Hinting at his financial stringency, he said he kept delaying his visit to the shop but eventually gave in to the children’s demand to have flags and buntings.

“There is no use pontificating the young generation on the need to rid the country of multiple menaces. Nothing will change… I am struggling to move abroad with my family on a work visa,” said Jahangir.

A teenager, Salman, was selling horns on Bund Road and said he was supposed to eke out a living for his family. He said the sale was less than his expectation as most people stop by and return after asking the price.

He said he sold a horn for Rs300 which was just Rs150 last year. Different sizes of horns are available in the market and their prices also vary.

When asked whether he had any knowledge of ban on sale of horns and trumpets, he expressed his ignorance and remarked: “Why buses and coaches honking horns are not being impounded by police.”

Social responsibility

Unlike Jahangir, approach of Ali is altogether different.

“You can survive with low productivity but you can’t go a long way with corruption and other social ills which have corroded our society. It is the responsibility of people at the helm of affairs to cure the festering sores,” he argues.

It is a social responsibility to help educate people on how to fight these evils and make the country a better place to live in.

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Official arrangements

Like every year, the public and private departments and organisations are set to organise seminars, photographic exhibitions, painting, poetry, national songs and debate competitions, with focus on highlighting the contributions of the Pakistan Movement leaders and sacrifices of national heroes.