Neither the terror attack nor the fall of Dhaka makes 16th December a black day in the history of our beloved country. It’s the collapse of ideology that makes it black. A failure of narrative and counter-narrative is the problem.

Two years back we faced the brutality of terrorism. Children in Army Public School died. Children played their part. They sacrificed themselves. They retaliated. Every citizen paid them tribute. Every citizen vowed to fight against extremism and terrorism. But they don’t have any direction. And today the nation is commemorating the second anniversary of that dreadful incident and is paying homage to those little martyrs. Their offerings would never be undermined.

Similarly on 16th December 1971, we suffered. The fall of Dhaka still haunts us. Different are the opinions. No one takes responsibility. People blame one another. Stakeholders have divided opinions on this matter. They also play blame game. Clouds of confusion are not shattered yet. At the end of it all, our country suffers.

Constructing things on shallow bases makes such incidents possible. Shallow are our ideological bases and it’s quite easy to deviate from these bases. Right after the creation of Pakistan, our people deviated from our basic ideology. Our people, till date, are confused between the clouds of dictatorship and democracy. These clouds are constantly playing the game of hide and seek. Before the creation of Pakistan, our people just had one reason to stand united and that was the basic Islamic ideology. But after independence that ideology lost its grip on citizens and unity collapsed.

According to Michael Althusser, a renowned political philosopher, ideology controls citizens and ideological state apparatuses help carry out that ideology. This aspect of ideology to control citizens can be helpful, or destructive, at the same time. It’s the shot that the state calls.

States all over the world construct narratives and develop their ideologies. Ideologies and narratives are developed carefully after much consideration.  And then those narratives represent the citizens of state. Under those well-developed narratives and ideologies nations grow.

G.W Chaudhary in his book, The Last Days of United Pakistan, speaks about the reason behind the fall of Dhaka. He speaks about region, realities and religion. The change in these three things over time made Dhaka to fall.  Before independence Muslims were united under one religion. The difference of region between East and West Pakistan was bridged by a well- developed ideology and narrative, but then this ideology and narrative went into background and realities dawned upon citizens. Dhaka fell.

The worst part of the fall of Dhaka is that we learnt nothing from it. We still don’t have a narrative. We are still confused in our ideologies. And then I see that APS attack as a backlash of that failed and confused ideology.

It’s high time for us to think over our narrative. A state narrative is required. Paying homage to those little souls is important and the best way to carry out with this is to work over our ideology.