A little less ‘liking’ a little more action please!

Published: August 14, 2012
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It’s not about what you’ve got; it’s about using your brain sensibly to use it. DESIGN: ERUM SHAIKH

So it’s August 14 and the level of patriotism is spiking up amongst the youth, but are we doing it right? Is Facebook enough or does a nation require more? I’ve been monitoring social media for a few years and was extremely disappointed to see the general behaviour of the masses, especially when it comes down to patriotism.

You may have come across one of those pages that say,

“Can Quaid-e-Azam get 14,000 likes before 14th August?”


And sure, that manages to stir up the national bone in us; we end up liking it and moving on. Yes we move on, usually to more ‘entertaining’ pages like Sarcasmistan to check out rage comics or read an article about how Aishwariya Rai lost her post pregnancy weight.

Sweet!!

I love the way technology has connected all of us to a single platform- the problem is, we’re not ‘one’ in one platform.

Coming to the sanctity of our patriotism, sadly it seems to be limited to ‘liking’ or sharing a picture of Quaid-e-Azam on Facebook- donned in a white sherwani, gesturing to the crowd or reciting a poem by Allama Iqbal, which 90% of us, unfortunately, fail to comprehend.

Or we do something less elaborate and change our profile pictures to a plain green background- because apparently that signifies our nation- or maybe it signifies the green colour on the Hulk, and the Hulk is supposed to be strong no?

All I really want to know is, what do these lame pages achieve when they ask us to join their page by the millions before August 14?

Imagine the following conversation,

Page:

We want one million people to like this page before August 14th, 2012.

The dumb ‘patriotic bone’ in us:

Okay it’s August 14 and we’re all here. Now what?

Page:

Thanks, I guess?

That’s it? What exactly did it achieve; the fact that one million Pakistanis can CLICK?

They click a million times each day from ‘checking out’ a girl’s profile, to poking, adding, and accessing filth all day and what not. I’m not suggesting every single one of us does it but the polls say it’s a lot of us do.

I remember last year, there was a page that invited a million of us before a similar Indian page reached a million likes, and when the Pakistani page reached the target first, a guy commented saying,

Alhamdulillah despite us being outnumbered being nearly one-fifth of Indian population, we reached the milestone first. This proves that Allah is with us.”

Dude, this only proves that you’re a ‘farigh’ (idle) nation; get your facts straight.

India, although being a country of over a billion, a large chunk of them live under the one US dollar per day mark. And if you count their metropolis and silicon-valleys like Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai, agreed – they could pull up a million ‘likes’ easily but you know why they failed?

Because they were busy building different software (probably for Facebook) or apps for your android phones so you could ‘like’ a bit faster than you used to. They’re serving their nation by building the economy and creating jobs – but you on the other hand, ‘liked’ the page, and that is why YOU are the true patriot.

They’re just filthy Zionists plotting to downgrade your country in any way possible huh? If Mark Zuckerberg gave us one dollar for each like coming from Pakistan, we’d all have cleared the national debt in a matter of a few days.

Oh but this patriotic behaviour doesn’t really end on Facebook.

Let’s move on to our secondary life, the real life, because unfortunately, we seem to live less in that world now. It’s an exception that it’s Ramazan this year but even then, do me a favour and go checkout the cue, outside Atrium cinema, of people lining up to watch an Indian flick (most probably Jism 2) on August 14.

If not that, then obviously, with nothing better to do, we will plan a ‘waste of food’ event like a grand ‘all-you-can-eat’ deal iftar, where it should have been an ‘all-you-need-to-eat’ deal instead-  wasting it all and not thinking once to feed the poor. Or worse, and I doubt I need to mention Sea View here but for those who are unaware, we could take out the silencer from our respective motorbikes, ride around town with our engines blaring away – because apparently, that’s the ‘azaadi’ our ancestors fought for.

It all began in 1904, when the bloody goras jailed Imam Din of Ludhiana for driving around in a motorcycle from which he had removed the silencer, starting the Pakistan movement.

All in all, I think we’ve got it all wrong. I think there needs to be less talking (less liking) and more action, for a change.

I don’t make a very good motivational speaker, but I think I have made my point here.

So on this note, I’m going to ask you all,

Can this blog post get 14,000 likes before August 14 ends?

I guess not, because reading is one of the traits we don’t possess. Should’ve made all this in comic, damn!

This post originally appeared here

Read more by Junaid here or follow him on Twitter @june_aid

Junaid Akram

Junaid Akram

A Pakistani stand up comedian based in Dubai who tweets at @june_aid (twitter.com/june_aid)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.