Stories about patriotism

71st Independence Day special: The evolution of Pakistan’s national song

In the last 70 years, the Pakistan national song has evolved through various governments, wars and music styles. We trace this evolution by reviewing a plethora of national songs from 1947 till the present. Sar Zameen-e-Pak: The first anthem (1947) Very few know that almost seven years before Hafeez Jalandhari’s Pak Sar Zameen was officially adopted as the country’s national anthem (in 1954), Pakistan already had an anthem. Today, it is all but forgotten, despite the fact that it was the first song played by Radio Pakistan when the station began broadcasting at the stroke of Pakistan’s creation in August 1947. The anthem ...

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O’ Father, your prophecy lives on no more

O’ Father, your prophecy lives on no more. The men with daggers for hearts walk the blood-soaked streets free and alive, With eyes colder than the Kashmir winds and veins warmer than Thar, they thrive, And all your children can do is close their eyes as the blood seeps into the roots, and from society, they drive. The women afraid of walking into the vegetable store, of all ages, Succumbing to the prying eyes, the filth that lay within the savages, They yell and scream, yell and scream, into the newspaper pages, And all your children can do is turn it over as a mere casualty in the inevitable collateral damages, O’ ...

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“So, what’s Pakistan like?”

The old man had the most startling blue eyes, the kind that glittered in a wizard-like way. He was a contractual worker fixing some room in the building where I work, and I met him in the kitchen over my morning coffee. He asked where I’m from and widened his eyes. He didn’t comment on how good my English is, but how American my accent is (which I take no offence or pride in – it’s not the two years of Master’s in St Louis but all those American movies and TV shows I watch). And then he asked me ...

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It is time for Trump to say, “I won the campaign, guys, you can stop the racism now!”

Donald Trump ran an unscripted and an unpredictable presidential campaign and took American politics to an unchartered territory, one that was hideously troubling and rocked the very core of our value system. What Trump’s inflammatory message did script, however, was a very predictable future – a fiery and fierce future, one that will bring out the worst in people, wake up the sleeping demons and cause a socio-political stir of schizophrenically unprecedented proportions. It is painful to witness the plight. It’s apocalyptic just to think that we, as a nation, by electing Donald Trump as president, have decided to put ...

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Is it okay to awaken the dead to settle a score with Adnan Sami Khan?

Last Monday, a young writer by the name of Ahsan Mehmood wrote a hypothetical letter  from Adnan Sami Khan’s (ASK) deceased father to his son for a newsblog called The Weekly Pakistan. The letter was written in response to a tweet from Adnan in which he congratulated the Indian armed forces and PM Modi on a “successful surgical strike against terror”. Big Congratulations to @PMOIndia & our brave Armed forces for a brilliant, successful & mature strategic strike against #terrorism ! #Salute — Adnan Sami (@AdnanSamiLive) September 29, 2016 The letter essentially consisted of the father, a decorated PAF officer, talking about ...

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Banning Pakistani actors or Indian movies won’t stop me from dancing to Kar Gayi Chul

Art is art. Art does not know a nationality or a region or a religion. Does a German heart move more than a non-German heart while listening to Beethoven’s symphonies? What if nobody outside France ever saw the Mona Lisa, or the Starry night was only seen by Dutch eyes? Art and artists belong to the world. Art is a reflection of the human condition, feelings shared by all of us universally. We all feel love, we all feel sadness, and we all feel loss. The world was moved by the picture of a dead Syrian toddler washed up on a Turkish shore. Statuses mourning the loss ...

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There is no place in Pakistan for men who do not consider women their equals

The acrimonious display of chauvinism by Hafiz Hamdullah in a talk show is rightfully being condemned in all quarters of the media. However, we need to go a little further in examining this overt manifestation of a rot that is deeply entrenched in our midst. To start off, Hafiz Hamdullah’s failed attempts at intimidating and shouting down Marvi Sermid are a continuation of his past behaviour during televised debates. It also seems the pious senator reserves the worst of his bullying for the fairer sex. And this is the crux of the issue – I believe the honourable Hafiz was apoplectic ...

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Be your own Maalik, be Pakistan’s Maalik

Ashir Azeem, who has many accolades to his name, be it director, actor or writer, was given the label of a patriotic entertainer after his popular drama serial, Dhuwan. His directorial debut movie, Maalik, has been amongst the most anticipated movies in Pakistani cinema due to the popularity of his previous drama. Maalik is a tale that every citizen can identify with in one way or another. It has various stories within the entire plot. The main story line revolves around an SSG officer, Major Amjad (Ashir Azeem) who starts a private security company after having faced a major tragedy in his life. What may have seemed ...

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Kashmir Day holiday is fine but you have an issue with Holi?

Nothing brings out excessive patriotism in Pakistanis like blatant jingoism and bigotry. The Pakistani government recently agreed to allow the Hindu festival of Holi and the Christian observance of Easter as public holidays. This, however, did not sit well with our patriotic, bleed-green Pakistanis who took to social media to portray their “rage”. In short, all hell broke loose. Photo: AFP I, for one, do not understand the reason behind this uproar. The decision seems absolutely justified as people belonging to minority groups should be able to observe and celebrate their religious events, just like Muslims do. Why is it ...

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My country won’t stand up against rape, but I have to stand up for the national anthem?

“Nationalism is a great danger. It is the particular thing which for years has been at the bottom of India’s troubles. It is my conviction that my countrymen will truly gain their India by fighting against the education which teaches them that a country is greater than the ideals of humanity.” – Rabindranath Tagore On Monday, at a movie hall in Mumbai, a family was humiliated, threatened, told they would be slapped and were forced to leave the hall amidst applause, because they did not stand up during the national anthem. This was not a victory for patriotism but a defeat for humanity. ...

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