An ideology is a set of beliefs and values that a person, group society or nation has. This expression is particularly employed to define systems of ideas and ideals which form the basis of economic or political theories and resultant policies for any state. Antoine Destutt de Tracy, a French Enlightenment philosopher, coined this term in 1796 as the “science of ideas” to develop a balanced system of ideas to resist the irrational and unreasonable instincts of the mob. Every progressive nation has an ideology that is followed in letter and spirit. All political, social, religious, and economic forces are kept bound within the corridors of the set ideology. To relate with, let’s have two examples from progressive Muslim dominant countries and their guiding ideologies.

Pancasila is the officially declared ideology of Indonesia that is comprised of five inseparable principles and they are: belief in the Almighty God, a just and civilised humanity, a unified Indonesia, democracy led by the wisdom in a consensus or representatives, social justice for all Indonesians. Sukarno, a prominent leader of Indonesia’s nationalist movement and the 1st president of Indonesia proclaimed Pancasila as the ideology of the new Indonesian state. Derived from his political philosophy of monotheism, nationalism, and socialism, he consistently stated that democracy directed by Pancasila can find a balance between the interests of the individual and those of society by preventing oppression of the weak, whether by economic or political means. Briefly, Pancasila’s key features are its rejection of poverty, backwardness, conflicts, exploitation, capitalism, feudalism, dictatorship, colonialism and imperialism. Indonesia is a multicultural nation composed of numerous ethnic groups with different languages, cultures, religions, and ways of life. The founding fathers decided a state ideology that should embrace and shelter the entire spectrum of Indonesian society, in which an accord for common good must be attempted for and justice is served. As a result, Pancasila is often regarded as a form of pluralism and moderation, a potpourri of diverse ideologies, ranging from the socialist to nationalist and religious. The ideology led to the formulation of the national motto “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika”, which can be translated as “unity in diversity”.

Kemalism is the founding ideology of the Republic of Turkey. Kemalism was conceived by İsmail Hakkı Tonguç: a Turkish scientist who made significant contributions to the Turkish education system, to separate the new Turkish state from its Ottoman predecessor. Kemalism is based on 6 principles or six arrows and these are Republicanism (rule of law, popular sovereignty, civic virtue), Populism (rejecting class conflicts, national unity, citizenship), Nationalism (nation state, cultural boundaries converge to political unity), Laicism (influence of laïcité in France), Statism (state regulates economic and social policies), and Reformism (replacing traditional institutions and concepts with modern, fundamental social change). Embracing Kemalism commenced a new era in Turkey to explore new heights.

History is witness to the process of change that required extensive, dedicated and focused efforts from the Sukarno and Ataturk till the present political leadership of Indonesia and Turkey respectively. Both the countries made drastic but ideologically guided changes in their educational configuration, political administration, social grading, religious arrangements, economic engagements, security strategies, foreign affairs and what not.

Now lets’ go inward. What is the ideology of the state of Pakistan that has been firmly and rigorously followed by our political parties and social institutions? If the simple and straight answer is Islam, then an elaboration is fundamentally required. What are the basic principles derived from Islam to set the corridors of her ideology? Aren’t they Faith, Unity and Discipline, that are clearly prescribed on the scroll along with wreath, crescent, and star on the state embalm? Aren’t these the guiding principles of Pakistan’s nationhood? Implicitly to have a faith is to live one’s faith. 98% of Pakistan’s population has faith in Islam: a religion that rejects ethnic, tribal and race superiority, discourages power distant attitude, reiterates to uplift poor time and again, opposes oppression, inspires to acquire and utilise knowledge for the well-being of humanity, stimulate sophistication in all spheres of life, but why is it all a rare commodity in our country? Do our politicians, educationists, media experts, judiciary, religious scholars, and social philosophers live their faith? Unity is another pillar of our ideology, which for last couple of years not taken seriously. Announcing a possibility of Sindh separatist movement commonly known as Sindh card by Chairman PPP Mr Bilawal Zardari, saying KP belongs to Afghans by head Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party Mr Mahmood Khan Achakzai, Balochistan separatist movement run by Balochistan Liberation Front of Jumma Khan Marri, assembling people against people to cover the misdeeds by PML (N), accumulating students of madrassas infused with hatred of rest of the country men by JUI (F), are examples of defiance from our ideological stance of unity. The third tentacle of our ideology is discipline. Alas! A discipline to follow set rules is seen tarnished everyday on our roads, public places, and government offices. Blocking roads in the name of democracy, agitating and breaking public assets in the name of people, defying laws and discomforting citizens in the name of welfare of citizens are some vivid and everyday examples of undisciplined members of society, and sadly one who has political or social power found tarnishing the discipline most.

The founding father Mr Jinnah in his post Pakistan addresses categorically stated, “we are going through fire, the sunshine has yet to come and with Faith, Unity, Discipline we will compare with any nation of the world. We must sink individualism and petty jealousies and make up our minds to serve the people with honesty and faithfulness”. It is high time to examine the will and effort of our social institutions and political parties from the lens of our state ideology. Our plans, executions, evaluations should be set on one single criterion and that is the ideology we believe in. We need to align everything to and under Faith, Unity, and Discipline. Addressing our ideological distress will bring us out of rudderless journey and would deliver prolific and productive future.