In recent days, in the aftermath of the attack on Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s residency in Ziarat, I have come across several statements on social and news media expressing sentiments like “Jinnah lives in our hearts”. And I think to myself; well if he does, we certainly do a great job keeping him well hidden as I do not see Jinnah in our hearts or our day to day life.
Singing songs to glorify Jinnah and squeezing words out of thesaurus to write speeches in praise on two or three festive occasions in a year does not say he lives in our hearts, it rather says that Jinnah is merely a ritual to us and nothing more. We have shunned all that he taught us by his words and actions. We do not remember Jinnah, we only celebrate him.
I do not know who exactly is responsible for the contemptuous attack on his home and what their motives were, but I do know that they weren’t hypocrites. They attacked Jinnah’s residency because they are either against the ideology of Pakistan or they want to destroy the federation. But we proud Pakistanis attack the very spirit of our Quaid everyday and yet have the audacity to say ‘Jinnah lives in our hearts’..
Whenever a government servant, be it a top brass general, bureaucrat, politician or a low grade peon, indulges in corruption and dishonesty to his duty and country – he attacks Jinnah. Whenever a Prime Minister, Minister, a Judge or anyone entrusted with State duties and responsibility uses state resources for his personal leisure and pleasures – he attacks Jinnah. Whenever a young lad or lady cheats to get ahead in life – they attack Jinnah. Whenever we as citizens rip discipline to shreds and disobey traffic rules causing hours-long traffic jams only to shave five minutes off of our travel time – we attack Jinnah. Whenever a TV anchor exploits national disharmony and sectarianism only to get ratings – he/she attacks Jinnah.
We; the oh so devoted fans of Jinnah all appear united in calling for firm action against the ‘terrorists’ responsible for the attack on Jinnah’s home and swift restoration thereof. But I wonder if we would ever show a more sincere and less shallow resolve for taking action against ourselves, and begin recuperation for damage caused by our attacks on the very spirit of all our Quaid stood for.
It is very convenient to put blame on another and deceive our conscience into contentment. Media would blame the politicians, politicians would blame the Military or Judiciary, Judiciary would blame the politicians and the common man would blame all of them but fact of the matter is we are all guilty of attacking Jinnah. Each and every one of us is responsible for the damage in our own individual capacity. Showing anger and rage towards the terrorists who attacked Jinnah’s residency and having heated discussions on the matter may help us sleep through a few nights but cannot make up for the dents in our federation caused by attacks that we carry out every day.
If anyone of us could go beyond physical boundaries and ask our ‘apparently beloved’ Jinnah what hurt him more – the attack on his residency in Ziarat or the 66 year long attacks on his principles by the very people he left those principles for, I wonder if Jinnah would answer the question or just prefer to stay silent with a surrendered look in his eyes.