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Iqbal Day: Actions speak louder

November the 9th, is a happy occasion for the people of Pakistan. This is the day when a poet, philosopher and a great Muslim scholar was born. Every year this day is celebrated with the traditional zeal and zest. Programs and ceremonies are held on this occasion, national flag is hoisted on government and other buildings, and people from all walks of life visit the tomb of Iqbal to pay their tributes.

Allama Muhammad Iqbal was born in Sialkot on 9 November, 1877. He was the Muslim poet, philosopher and one of the most prominent leaders of the All India Muslim League. He gave voice to the idea of a separate state for the Muslims of India. That is why he is known as the Muffakir-e- Pakistan (The Thinker of Pakistan). Through his writings he gave the message of unity and brotherhood of the Muslims; and a separate state for the Muslims, where they can live peacefully and lead their life according to the teachings of Islam.

Though we have achieved the separate state in the name of religion but we are not living our lives according to its principles and precepts. Human dignity, respect for other people’s rights and responsibilities owed to them, unity, brotherhood and tolerance ,which are the basic principles of Islam are missing in us.

We have dictatorship in the disguise of democracy, but we are doing nothing except complaining and blaming others/someone. Common man cannot afford even the basic necessities of life today, thanks to our leaders’ self serving policies, narrow and selfish vision and lack of concern for the common man.  People are dying of hunger; they are forced to sell their children because they cannot afford the expenses. They are committing suicides because of unemployment and poverty.

Religion, on the basis of which we had achieved this state, has become the foundation for the extremism, that pervades the society. Innocent people are losing their lives in suicide bombings, which extremists call Jihad. There is no religion in the world especially Islam, which encourages killing of innocent beings and we all claim that Islam is the religion of peace.  Yet the killing continues. We have been suffering the consequences of the willful and criminal neglect of our elites for past many decades. This is not the Muslim state that Iqbal had dreamed of.

Every year we celebrate his birthday and sing his praises, but do we pay any heed to his message? To his vision? To his dream? He never wanted the Muslims to live in agony, poverty, chaos and misery. He never dreamed of this. If we are to live under these conditions then why did we struggle for independence in the first place? Why did our ancestors give their lives for a country, where common mass is deprived of even the basic necessities of life and elites continue to live in the extravagance.

This is the time for us to be united and to do some exceptional work. We just need to show that enthusiasm and courage that we showed at the time of independence. On the 133rd anniversary of our National poet and the Thinker of Pakistan, we must realize that we are the ones who achieved this country and we will be the ones who will change the fate of this country. In my opinion, here are the five basics that we should follow:

We should be a disciplined nation.

We should give education the top priority.

We should give equal rights to women in every field of life, as Islam, not maulvi’s religion, has given.

There is a need of renaissance of Islam and we should have a correct and complete understanding of our religion.

We should be united as a nation and we must take a stand when and if something goes wrong. Like the recent floods has given us an opportunity to show our solidarity and humanity.

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