Pakistan celebrates its 70th Independence Day tomorrow; a day later, India would be celebrating its independence. Both of them from the British rule.
With tensions between India and Pakistan far from normal, many people and groups have taken to social media to promote peace and brotherhood. That is fine, but sometimes people tend to take things a bit too far.
An Indian group called Voxchord, an Acapella band, chose to sing the Pakistani National Anthem to promote brotherhood and peace between the two nations and wish the Pakistanis “a very happy Independence Day”.
The two-minute video shows the band members proudly singing the Pakistani national anthem.
Before it starts, some of them hold placards reading: “This Independence Day, we’d like to dedicate a song to our neighbours. A song about faith, pride and grandeur, of power, progress and perfection”.
Free of any instruments, the band is shown singing the anthem with pride. To its credit, the group has rendered the anthem beautifully.
Of course, some Pakistanis are praising it on social media and some Indian media houses, too, are applauding this “wonderful gesture of peace”.
But there are three problems with this gesture:
1. While everyone is happy about Indians singing Pakistan’s national anthem, we are yet to see any prominent Pakistani group singing India’s national anthem.
2. While this Indian group (and ‘Voice of Ram’) chose to “gift” Pakistan this version of their anthem on their Independence day, Indian soldiers continue to attain martyrdom defending the motherland from Pakistani-sponsored terrorists. And every “peace” lover is silent about it.
3. Before we go gushing about the video or the “peace effort”, let us take a look at the lyrics of the Pakistani national anthem.
This is in Urdu/Persian (written here in the Roman script):
Pak sarzameen shad bad
Kishwar-e-Haseen shad bad
Tou Nishaan-e-Azm-e-aali shan Arz-e-Pakistan
Markaz-e-yaqeen Shad bad
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Pak sarzameen ka nizaam Qouwat-e-Akhouwat-e-Awam
Qaum mulk saltanat
Painda tabinda bad Shad bad Manzil-e-murad
The literal translation of the anthem is this:
Blessed be the sacred land,
Happy be the bounteous realm.
Thou symbol of high resolve,
O Land of Pakistan!
Blessed be the citadel of faith.
The order of this sacred land,
The might of the brotherhood of the people,
May the nation, the country, and the state,
Shine in glory everlasting!
Blessed be the goal of our ambition.
The flag of the crescent and star,
Leads the way to progress and perfection,
Interpreter of our past, glory of our present,
inspiration for our future!
Shade of God, the Glorious and Mighty.
The word ‘Khuda’ means God. So technically the song invokes and praises God calling it “glorious and mighty” and Pakistan its “shade”. Again, that’s absolutely fine. But why does it become a problem for Indians when a similar call to sing “Vande Mataram” is made?
Over the last few months, there has been much hue and cry over the mandatory singing of Indian national song in educational institutions. Several Indian organizations and parties have voiced their opinions against such an order claiming freedom of expression and religious freedom.
And even as the debate over the national song is hot as hell, we now have a qazi telling people not to sing the national anthem as well.
Asjad R Khan, Bareilly ‘qazi’ has asked Barelvi madarsas to celebrate I-Day but not sing National Anthem: Nasir Qureshi,Jamat Raza-E-Mustafa pic.twitter.com/rauAwnEnuC
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) August 12, 2017
So if someone thinks that singing the Pakistani national anthem is a just way to seek peace, why not ask any Pakistani group or individual sing the Indian national anthem, at least? More importantly, why not stand for the national anthem of your own motherland first and then think about other nations? Why are we so blinded by such fake “peace initiatives” that we cannot see the actions of Pakistan-backed terrorists on our soil? Will we ever have enough integrity to stand for our nation? Or has the freedom of expression and religion become too much to handle?