Monday, October 27, 2008

The Change We Need

First of all, this post has nothing to do with Barack H. Obama, or the Americans for that matter.  

It so happened that I was switching channels the other day and I caught Rang De Basanti, the Indian movie, being aired on the network’s local movie channel.  I locked it there and watched it again.  For the 13th time, that is.

I hardly watch one or two movies a month and this number includes English, Indian and some very rare Pakistani ones.  The movies that I watch are not just-randomly-chosen-off-the-rack ones but are either highly recommended by friends or have splendid ratings from critics. So, it’s not hard to guess that I am not a huge movie fan. Even then, I can’t resist watching this flick whenever I catch it.  In my opinion, this movie is, by far, the best of Indian cinema.

This post is not about the movie and how great it is either (it’s awesome, btw).  It's about its message. It's about Pakistan and the transformations that we need as a nation if we want to get out of the mess that we are in.

Just to bring everybody on board, the movie is about a group of young university students who are very carefree and indifferent towards their county and the system initially.  But they later try to change the system for the better after a series of events leave them at the receiving end of its cruelty. 

The indifferent youth, the corrupt politicians and the flawed system portrayed in the movie are so similar to what we have in our country.  The young cast of the movie resembles most Pakistani students of today. The kind of apathy that is shown in the characters is also akin to what we have in our youth.  They are smart, they are talented but they want to take the first flight out of the country.  They are indifferent to whatever is going on around them and think that their only responsibility towards the country is to blame the system for everything.  But does that help?

Kuch to karna hoga.  Hum sab ko kuch karna hoga. Yeh loag aasman say naheen utray.  Hum main say hain.  Hum nay chuna hai inhain.  Yeh loag corrupt hain tou hum bhee corrupt hain.  Kuch badalna hai tou khud ko badalna hoga.

Something needs to be done.  We all need to do something.  These politicians haven’t come from space or anything.  There are from us.  We have elected them.  If they are corrupt then we are corrupt as well.  If we want to change something, we need to change ourselves.

This system that we live in, as cruel and as fraudulent as it may be, is created by us.  Our leaders are only as good as us.  We have elected them; they are our people.  If we are sincere to our country and we try to be responsible Pakistani citizen, then there is no reason that we get leaders that are sincere and responsible in their efforts towards Pakistan and who get us out of this mess.  But we need to change ourselves first before hoping that any of that could materialize.

Koi bhee des perfect naheen hota, ussay perfect banana parta hai. Police main bharti hoangay, military join karaingay, politics ka hissa ban kar is des ki sarkaar chalayen gay.  Yeh des badlay ga.  Hum badlain gay issay.

No country is perfect; it has to be made perfect.  We will enroll in police, will join military, will take part in politics and will run the country’s government.  This country will change.  We’ll change it.

Can we have a realization of this sort?  We definitely need it; that is for sure.  We need to change things.  Can anything change?  Can we change ourselves?

We should all examine our own personal lives. What is it that we are doing wrong as a nation that we are in such a mess? Are we irresponsible citizen? Do we not fulfill all our responsibilities towards other human beings and our country? Do we try to find short cuts? Do we break laws? Do we pay all our taxes honestly? Do we lie and bribe to avoid getting a 200 rupee ticket? Do we stand up and fight for our principles? What is it that we are doing wrong and how can that be avoided?

Zindagi jeenay kay do hee tareeqay hotay hain.  Ya tou jo ho raha hai ussay honay do, bardaasht kiye jao, ya phir zimeydaari uthao ussay badalnay kee.

There are only two ways to live life.  Either keep enduring whatever is going on or take responsibility to change it.

Think about it. If we can’t do anything else, we can at least mold our personal lives into those of good Pakistanis. We can all play our respective parts and hope for a collective better future. We need to change ourselves first before expecting anything to change around here.

Khuda nay aaj tak us qoum ki haalat nahi badli, Na ho khayaal jis ko aap apni haalat kay badalnay ka.  -- Allama Muhammad Iqbal


  1. Can you write about something less serious next time?

  2. Besides, we have Zardari now. He will take care of everything. Don't worry.

  3. @Cube: Why are you speechless? You already know what the next blog is gonna be about. And I can only laugh at the Zardari statement. :)

  4. Drove it home right there. Good post!


Wanna say something? Say it out loud.