Pakistan Day … Really?

The celebrations of victory against Bangladesh in the final of Asia Cup are still in the air. The aerial firing went on for hours last night until I finally managed to sleep and found people to be more buoyant than usual today. The taste of hard-earned victory followed by a public holiday (Pakistan Day – 23rd March) makes it even more delicious. A big round of applause for the gallant Bengalis for their new-found energy and splendid display of performance never before seen on the field. Reaching the final after defeating the likes of Sri Lanka and India is an achievement unprecedented and a promise of much more to come in future.

The topic of this post is, however, not Cricket but the public holiday itself. Pakistan Day, celebrated on 23rd March based on Pakistan Resolution passed in 1940 by All-India Muslim League; that is part of every textbook written in the country for decades. We have all seen the great fanfare this day brings, watching PTV in the morning to see military march in Islamabad with several flotillas and stunts by airforce pilots. The books, on the other hand, never manage to actually explain what this resolution was. It is called Pakistan Resolution even though it was initially called Lahore Resolution and it was passed just after 11 pm on March 24 but is celebrated on 23rd March. What was written in the resolution, it is never taught.

An excellent post at Pakistaniat gives us an interesting insight along with the full text of the resolution. The text says nothing about Pakistan at all. The emphasis of the text is to protect the rights of the minorities in the Indian subcontinent. The text is surprisingly short but full of vigor and the stress always was on ‘minorities’ and not just Muslims. Considering the way we treat our minorities, it is ironic that we celebrate this day at all, let alone on the wrong date. What is even more ironic is that the textbooks are written by multiple authors, sometimes they number more than 3 for a short book with substandard quality of text and explanation. In the recently concluded KLF, a separate session on the quality of textbooks was conducted with participants such as likes of Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy and Dr. Tariq Rahman. The session is highly informative for anyone who wants to know the reality of our education system.

Another great and insightful post on distortion of historical account is written by Marvi Sirmed on her blog. It is limited to Pakistan Day and how information is withheld in order to twist the historical account. The process of unnecessary glorification has caused unimaginable damage to the country, generations of youth fed with distorted history that sowed confusion as they grew up. With the modern age of rapid availability of information and easy exchange, the whole historical account crumbles down like a castle made from deck of cards.

There are plenty of other distortions in the official narrative of Pakistan’s history, mentioned in detail by K.K.Aziz in his book “The Murder of History” where he systematically lists down books from different provinces, highlight the inaccuracies, mistakes and unnecessary glorification of personalities at the cost of more worthy individuals. He follows it up with a chapter full of details that are more accurate and verifiable from past records, using reliable sources to justify his research and opinions. It is a must read book for anyone who wishes to know what really happened.


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