There needs to be a limit to monotony. If there was one and a list was made of things deluged with redundancy and repetition, Jinnah’s speech of 11th August 1947 would most definitely be placed somewhere in the higher tiers.

The speech in question, with all its skillful verbosity and elegant vernacularism has failed to deliver the message its author sought to emphasize. Hence, it needs to be revisited, for if there exists an ideal manumitter, the ultimate (albeit only) savior for the Pakistani nation, it is this speech. It ruminates Jinnah’s personal philosophy like no other piece of writing done by him or any other of his scribes or admirers. The speech is our most precise picture of the man we have brandished with the title of Quaid-e-Azam and it is pertinent that we recognise his aspirations.

Excerpts from the speeches of the day:

“You are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the state…We are starting in the days when there is no discriminations, no distinction between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one state.”

Quoting the example of Great Britain where the Roman Catholics and Protestants had ceased political differences and become one, Jinnah said: “Now I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal.”

Later, addressing the future legislators and administrators of the yet to be born Pakistan, Jinnah stated: “The first duty of a government is to maintain law and order, so that the life, property and religious beliefs of its subjects are fully protected by the state.”

Why is quoting of the speech important today?

15th of March 2015 saw two suicide bombers from Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, blow themselves up infront of two churches in the Christian majority area of Yohanabad, in Lahore. Their actions resulted in the death of 15 people, leaving 70 injured. The community, irked and hurt on the tragedy and loss, protested the event. Lethargic policemen who had been watching a cricket match instead of doing their duty and guarding the churches, were attacked and held captive. The protest soon lost control and became unruly when two individuals were deemed as accomplices to the bombers, who were then beaten by the mob and eventually burned. Later, some 4000 Christians took to the streets of Lahore to protest, indeed a rarity as far as the minorities of Pakistan are concerned. 200 Christians in Karachi also staged a protest against the tragedy and blocked roads and burnt tires.

There is ofcourse no justification for lynching, and those involved need to be brought to justice. That said, the reaction witnessed on Sunday is, if nothing else, an indication of the frustration of the Christian community of Pakistan. The balloon has finally burst and lines have been crossed. What was witnessed on Sunday should knock the decision makers out of their slumber.

A few things about the protest are important to specify: Firstly, the majority of the protest was focused against the attitude of the government and its inability towards ensuring respect and security for the religious places of the minorities. The Metro Transit system, the trademark of the current government (and indeed the true representation of its misadjusted priorities) on Ferozepur road was especially obstructed, so as to gain the attention of the Chief Minister of Punjab. However, all this was in vain. The Chief Minister who otherwise misses no opportunity for screen time, failed to personally address the agitators. At the end, blood money of sorts was finalized and the deaths of the hapless and innocent victims were insulted by pricing their lives at Rs.500,000 per person.

Jinnah promised the minorities of equal treatment and recognition as citizens of Pakistan. The fact that the minorities have been pushed to the brink and have resorted to violent protests shows how far we have strayed from the realization of Jinnah’s promises. Sunday’s reaction, in all its violence and noise, shows morbid despondency and desperation on the part of the Christian population of Pakistan. In the world of savages, is becoming a savage oneself the only rule of survival?

Secondly, the lynching and violence was again, a rare spectacle as far as the minorities of Pakistan are concerned. It was only in March last year that a similar incident was observed, when Sikhs stormed the Parliament precinct, breaking down its gates. The violence witnessed on Sunday was graver and indeed, worse, but it was the result of decades of capped emotions and reactions.

The lynching on Sunday was a déjà vu moment, as we saw the lynching and burning of a Christian couple in Kot Radha Kishan last November. The unruly behavior and damage to property too resembled destruction witnessed by the Christians living in Gojra town and Joseph Colony. The agony displayed and the frustration exhibited was indeed reflective of the hopelessness of loved ones of the deceased in Peshawar in December. The unified anger and the communal outpouring was a retelling of the anguish of countless victims lost to the tyranny of terrorism and negligence of leaders.

It is probably too late for this nation. It has been silent for too long and found sooth in ignorance. The broken promises of Jinnah are part and parcel of this a melancholic way of living adapted and inherited by the Pakistanis over generations. Reformers and leaders must act now and save what they can of this country, it’s countrymen and the dreams of Muhammad Ali Jinnah.