THE IDENTITY CRISIS OF PAKISTAN

The idea of this post came along when I saw the show Dastaan. Judge me all you want but the hero is Fawad Khan. Rather what I found more interesting is the fact that now that the Pakistani shows are being broadcasted in India, they change the names of some shows, these usually have names in languages that are not that known in India. But the name Dastaan is not very difficult, it means story rather a tale, yet it has been named ‘Lakeerain’ which means lines for its Indian broadcast. It is then that I realised that when this show must have been made in Pakistan, for them it would be the story of formation of their nation whereas for us Indians it is always about taking away a part of land from our country and drawing lines to forge their nation.

Then I started thinking about what this reflects on the idea of Pakistan. Because when you see the show you realise that the idea that the common Muslims had of forging a new nation was a land where they would grow at their own terms and develop under their own laws and not under the thumb of the majority religion. This is something that reflects even in the name of the country ‘Pakistan’ or the land of the pious and the pure. They thought that the nation would be the idealistic place for a Muslim to live in and the place would be the perfect cradle for the growth of a Muslim civilization.

But Pakistan was always seen in comparison with India. They brought it upon themselves now, they wanted to prove that they would be able to create a nation that would compete with India and maybe even be better than it because it has uniform religious tenets all over the nation. Interestingly, after about a year of independence, the Archeological Survey of Pakistan brought about a book called 5000 years of Pakistan, which is quite illogical because Pakistan was just a year old. Rather the intention behind it would have been reiterating the identity of this new landmass that now forms Pakistan.

Even when negotiations for independence were on, Jinnah wanted to the Muslim League to be the sole representative of Muslims as he felt that Congress would not give them their due as they did in the 1937 elections where, after promising a coalition government in at least UP, irrespective of the verdict, the verdict was highly in favour of the Congress and they refused to share the government and said that the ML was not an important enough party to share government with the Indian National Congress.  This is what was converted into the idea of Pakistan as the place that would be safe haven for Muslims. Hence, Kashmir is an important part of completing this cracked identity of their. It is a Muslim dominated area and they think that the Muslims there would have solidarity towards those of Pakistan and thus should become a part of Pakistan. For them the will of a Hindu King has been imposed on a Muslim dominated state, something that they have been striving to protect.

I also think that an important part of the idea of Pakistan is being better than India (Duh!!) But the country never managed to have a stable enough government to ensure that the policies remain the same and so economy could grow or any development could occur. And when they managed to have an elected govt, whatever it means there, it has been plagued by terrorism. Also, one of the reasons, that Pakistan could be harbouring terrorists is because they never managed beating us and so they thought “If we can’t beat them then lets beat them” as in if we can’t get better than them lets destroy them internally for which they needed a terrorist force. And also you would always notice that when they win against us in a sports competition, they go crazy as in super crazy as to show that they are better.

But then the terrorists could not be told to exist for the reason of destroying India, so they had to be given a totally valid reason which is preserving the religion of Islam whose actual idea is what these terrorists think it to be and not what the Pakistanis are trying to interpret it as. For this purpose, the film that I feel is most relevant is Khuda Kay Liye. It just portrays exactly the life of a Muslim in both Pakistan and in foreign countries. Because for a normal Pakistani, music is what is for everyone but because the terrorists think that according to Islam, Music is haram or a bad thing to do, Pakistani musicians are at constant peril.

Well this was just a thought 🙂

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