Emotionally shattered but cognitively enlightened, the Muslims of the subcontinent following the harrowing treatment meted out to them during the Congress Ministries 1937-39 , developed a clear and succinct vision in mind, the dream of a secure , separate homeland that did not compromise their honour, values and most pertinently of all, their identity.

Demeaning policies aimed at tattering Muslim culture and identity, such as the educational Wardha Scheme, whereby the Muslim students were expected to bow done before Gandhi’s portrait every single day, or the disparaging posture of the Hindus targeting the religious sites of Muslims, where they were not only refrained from performing their religious rites through deliberate interruption of songs outsides mosques, but also through the littering of  the mosques with filth, the Congress Ministries provided the Muslims with a bitter realization of the subjugation that they would experience in a “United India”, if they faltered and failed to voice up and pronounce their concerns.

It was this consciousness that impelled the Muslims of the subcontinent, under the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam and the likes of Maulvi Fazal ul Haque, to gather at Minto Park Lahore, on 23rd March 1940, to articulate their demand for a distinct nation. This event qualifies as a watershed event in the history of the subcontinent as seven years down the road of this fateful pronouncement, the dream of Pakistan foreseen by the leaders of Muslim League was realized.

Seventy seven years ensuing this momentous event, Pakistan stands at a crossroads today where its dwellers need to reflect and imbibe the spirit of this day that shaped the future of the subcontinent. Honouring the essence of Pakistan Day would mean endeavouring to proceed beyond the mere reverential posture accorded to days of national significance, whereby such days are wrapped up in hollow cosmetic applaud and non-derivation of practical lessons, which is in no manner conducive to national growth and prosperity.

Therefore, the spirit of Pakistan Day can only be revived, if and only if, we as a nation endeavour to practically manifest the lessons imparted by the celebrated resolve, of which the foremost of all is the practice of unity and amity. Though the decades preceding the creation of Pakistan, signified testing times for the Muslims of the subcontinent, what remained a hall mark of their persistent posture was their unity and cohesion, enabling them to wade together through tides of turbulence. Had they been divided into multifarious factions, the idea of Pakistan would have never been envisioned, let alone realized in true letter and spirit since the dividing fissures would have imparted an opportunity to the Congress to exploit the Muslims, estranging them from their goal of identity preservation through nation building.

Similarly dignified contours of concordance manifested back then, are the ones that need to be replicated in the Pakistan of today, characterized by parochial political divisions, impeding the nation’s course towards progress. It needs to be comprehended that it is quite natural for political differences to exist between variant political factions, but denigrating these differences at the cost of national security and peace, is intriguingly self-destructive to say the least. Slandering the party leaderships of opponent political parties, is surely not the manner in which nations evolve.

Secondly, the Pakistan Resolution also imparts the ubiquitous concern for the respect of variant social segments in the society, all of which play role in nation building. The fact that the Annual Muslim League Session of 1940 at Minto Park Lahore was not only attended by the political elite of the League but was equally graced with the presence of individuals from different social segments, is resonant of the changes that can be ushered in when the leaders not only verbally honour the masses, but also work to practically align their vision with the wishes of the general populace, irrespective of the differences in their colour or creed.

For Pakistan, such a classless posturing is the need of the hour, most importantly in terms of religion. Though PM Nawaz Sharif, in a recent speech delivered on Holi, alluded to the inclusivity of the Pakistani nation when he remarked that, ‘no one can force others to adopt a certain religion’ and that ‘equal access to progress and development’ is the right of every individual, yet Pakistan still has a long way to go in practicing these notions in actuality.

Lastly, it needs to be realized that clarity of thought and action coupled with faith in one’s abilities qualifies as a significance of success. Heavily scarred by the disturbing Congress ministries 1937-39, when the Muslims of the sub-continent, under the leadership of Quaid stood in the Minto Park Lahore, all that they were armoured with was faith in their dreams and the courage to continue despite the bleakness of the circumstances.

The author is a freelance columnist