What does independence mean?

Have we ever been really independent? Or we still are on our knees? Such are some of the questions that strike the common man’s mind even today when school-going children seek the meaning of independence from him.
Citizens who believe in faith, unity and discipline referring to the Independence Day say they are not independent in the real sense of the word. “We’re economically dependent on others, politically unprincipled and socially caught in cobweb of depravity.”
Families gripped by poverty in the wake of colossal loss of life and property caused by heavy rains and floods almost every two years, seem to have opened their eyes to the lure of leaders who allegedly never forsake their luxurious ways of life.
“A loaf of bread, or better call it livelihood with dignity and honour, is our basic problem,” says the lower citizen. “How can I celebrate any Independence Day cheerfully when I have no shelter and per kilo prices of kitchen items such as milk, vegetable oil and sugar soar much that they are beyond the reach of the ordinary citizen.
Unexpected hike in prices of other food items such as pulse, rice, garlic, ginger, tomato and potato and lemon—and that too quite before the holy month of Ramazan and any Eid—adds to worries of lower people who think democracy provides easy access to food.
One wonders why city olds talk about corruption, poverty, and bribery etc.
Undoubtedly, circumstances are adverse in the backdrop of the natural calamity. Rainstorms and floods eventually cause shortage of foodstuffs. A businessman or an industrialist may not pick a man’s pocket, but he may overcharge him as much as he likes.
In the past, control for the businessman only meant an opportunity to create scarcity and resort to black-marketing to his heart’s content. As a result, the consumer in utter helplessness would say: “It’s better to have things without control than to have control without things”.
The time is long past when we could depend upon the personal righteousness of traders, producers and leaders most of whom have made politics their business.
Time demands of us, irrespective of caste, creed and colour, to remain united with forces engaged in the country’s defence, work together to develop the homeland into a real welfare state as the architect of Pakistan had envisaged in the light of the teachings of Islam which does not approve of provincialism, ethnicity, terrorism and sectarianism.
Also important is to realise that economic unity precedes political unity to make homeland strong, stable and impregnable in all respects—and that’s the road to independence and freedom from slavery to others.


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