In a “chicken shop" I once observed how before preparing a new order,the butcher would open the door of the cage and put his hand in to extract a hen or two. It would be then that chaos would break out. A lot of quacking and ruffled feathers later, the remaining hens upon realizing that they weren't the ones been taken away, would instantly fall silent and would continue trying to find a spot to sit in… this of course till the next extraction. I read somewhere that we are what we eat, I guess it wasn't entirely untrue.

We don't just celebrate the victory of the 1965 war, we celebrate our martyrs and we celebrate the pride with which they very comfortably give away their lives only so that you have the comfort to sit on your well-upholstered couches and post nonsensical stuff on Facebook. Earlier this month on September 6, Defence Day, spilling a glance at a couple of Facebook statuses added a great deal to my knowledge on human behavior. It enlightened me about how in our world, one could easily afford to be dishonest to himself and how easy it is to tamper your statements to acquire a shield that may temporarily protect you from the possible interpolations you know you might face from the side of others around you.

I always observed people’s stance and their tone that described their anti-army postures; at times in the form of bringing up the topic of how Army devours most of the government’s budget; and at times even condemning the officers for the plots they possess—which actually the Army officers themselves pay for, throughout their tenure in service, the plots are not thrown at them as gifts by some generous crusader—but all of this, civility demands, needs to be respected as long as the individual articulating it ‘stands sincerely by what he says’, and takes the ownership of it as his proud ‘opinion’ because everybody has the constitutionally-protected right to voice their stance.

Some individuals are, by nature, genuinely opposed to the abstraction of wars and bloodshed, while others support these ideas in tandem with their own intellect and understanding of them. So if someone maintains it from the very first day that he is against the concept of countries going to war, his opinion ought to be respected. Likewise, when he precludes himself from supporting the idea of celebrating Defence Day, it should not be deemed rational to define him as any lesser patriotic—it is not by any means a thing to create an issue upon. However, when someone you know has always been very fervently pronouncing his disclination towards the Army out of personal bias, uses the garb of humanist agendas to mask this hatred on Defence Day— perhaps just to attract a few more likes on his status than the usual— it definitely is an issue on principle grounds. While denigrating the 1965 war’s happenings or establishing the idea of how children in schools are being made to study nonsensical material in their Pakistan History textbooks under his veneer of 'HASHTAG NO WARS', what the individual forgets, is that his pretentious cover of humanism, which he uses to cosmeticize latent desires of hatred against the Army out of personal bias, is raising questions on the very credibility of his opinion itself because instead of standing firm by his opinion of not ‘liking the Army’, he is using the cushion of materiality in the form of humanism to support his stance which makes his former opinion redundant.

These masked opinions, tampered statements and any form of inherent hatred without an empirical logic, is dishonesty to yourself. It is what makes a society hollow. An individual should have a logic solid and pragmatic enough to be based on some degree of concrete foundation to promote hate. If something causes him displeasure, he should be satiated within himself to be able to say that he maintains his opinion and is proud to do so, why transpose phrases and hide behind humanist theories on occasions like Defence Day? A day when the nation, way more than just celebrating the 1965 war, is enthralled in celebrating its martyrs; celebrating the passion and the fervor with which the sons so easily give up their lives for the soil; celebrating the bravery and the courage of men lost in the War on Terror (which is not a rhetorical affair as they deem the victory of the 1965 war as), celebrating the fact that if tomorrow someone barges in, threatens to loot our property and rape our women, the nation would have an institution to look up to— we would not be left benumbed and alienated.

As children, most of us were constantly made to understand lessons of morality: never to tell lies, not to steal, not to be impetuous. The biggest out of these tiny scraps of wisdom, for most children, is the lesson of honesty. Honesty, as we know it, is the act of practicing a transparent discourse, regardless of any active or cognitive biases. I feel that it is but important, to psychologically and socially teach ourselves the aspect of how being honest to our own selves is also magnanimously attached to, and as essentially significant as ‘being honest to others around us or as coming to be known as honest persons in the society’. If we do not be honest with our own dispositions, we would be crushed under the weight of all the lies that we quite comfortably make to ourselves. We would be crushed under the burden of our facades which happen to be the fabricated identities that we espouse.

Let us generously rejoice in our accomplishments together and not waste our energies on hollow debates that do not stand any grounds. At the least, it would help us be real individuals… and not the chickens we eat.