Monday, 6 July 2009

I Have A Dream

I have a dream. Many of us relate this sentence to either ABBA’s song or the famous speech delivered by Martin Luther King. Unfortunately very few of us know that the Pakistan that we are now living in; its roots are linked to this statement.
Pakistan was given to us after the hard work of a lot of Muslim leaders; amongst them was Dr. Muhammad Allama Iqbal.

He defined the Muslims of India as a nation and suggested that there could be no possibility of peace in the country unless and until they were recognized as a nation. He claimed that the only way for the Muslims and Hindus to prosper in accordance with their respective cultural values was under a federal system where Muslim majority units were given the same privileges that were to be given to the Hindu majority units.

As a permanent solution to the Muslim-Hindu problem, Iqbal proposed that Punjab, North West Frontier Province, Baluchistan and Sindh should be converted into one province. He declared that the northwestern part of the country was destined to unite as a self-governed unit, within the British Empire or without it. This, he suggested, was the only way to do away with communal riots and bring peace in the Sub-continent.
The greatest historical significance of Allama Iqbal's Allahabad address was that it cleared all political confusion from the minds of the Muslims, thus enabling them to determine their new destination.
The national spirit that Iqbal fused amongst the Muslims of India later on developed into the ideological basis of Pakistan.
Allama Iqbal, great poet-philosopher and active political leader, was born at Sialkot, Punjab, in 1877. He descended from a family of Kashmiri Brahmins, who had embraced Islam about 300 years earlier.
Iqbal received his early education in the traditional maktab. Later he joined the Sialkot Mission School, from where he passed his matriculation examination. In 1897, he obtained his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Government College, Lahore. Two years later, he secured his Masters Degree and was appointed in the Oriental College, Lahore, as a lecturer of history, philosophy and English. He later proceeded to Europe for higher studies. Having obtained a degree at Cambridge, he secured his doctorate at Munich and finally qualified as a barrister.
He returned to India in 1908. Besides teaching and practicing law, Iqbal continued to write poetry. He resigned from government service in 1911 and took up the task of propagating individual thinking among the Muslims through his poetry.
In later years, when the Quaid had left India and was residing in England, Allama Iqbal wrote to him conveying to him his personal views on political problems and state of affairs of the Indian Muslims, and also persuading him to come back. These letters are dated from June 1936 to November 1937. This series of correspondence is now a part of important historic documents concerning Pakistan's struggle for freedom.
It was Allama Iqbal who made the Muslims wake up from his deep slumber to fight for what was theirs.
The need of the hour now is that we wake up from our deep sleep and also realise that we need to remain united to save what is ours.
Pakistan Paindabad!

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Hey readers!

Today we are still in Lahore. Lahore is not only famous because of the architecture and its monuments, but because of many other things.
Our focus this week would be the bazaars especially “Anar kalli”. Along with that we shall also be looking at the Shalimar Gardens along with that the two famous festivals that are celebrated in Lahore; Basant and Mela Chiraghan and The Horse and Cattle Show.

Anar Kalli:
If you are interested in traditional shopping the place to go is Anar Kalli.
Anar Kalli is named after the favourite courtesan Anar Kalli. The bazaar has everything from embroidered clothes, glass bangles, artificial and real jewelry. Anar Kalli is located on Aibak Road.

Shalimar Gardens:
Three miles east of Lahore are the famous Shalimar Gardens laid out by the Mughal EperorShah-Jehan in 1642 A.D. The Gardens are spread out in typical Mughal style and are surrounded by high walls with watch-towers at the four corners. Originally, the gardens were spread over seven ascending terraces, but only three remain now which cover an area of about 42 acres. The brick-work of the floors of the three terraces have been repaired according to their original designs which differ on all three terraces. There is a marble pavilion under which water flows and cascades down over a carved, marble slab creating a water-fall effect. Across the water-fall is a marble throne. At the end of the second terrace is a beautiful structure called Sawan Bhadon, a sunken tank niches on its three sides. Water cascades down from it in sheets in front of the niches, producing the sound of falling rain. In the olden times, small oil lamps were placed in the niches which reflected myriad colors.

Festivals of Lahore:

Lahore is the most festive city and is famous as the heart of Pakistan. It is also known as the most happening city.

Basant is a Punjabi festival marking the coming of spring. Basant celebrations in Pakistan are centered in Lahore, and people from all over the country as well as abroad come to the city for the annual festivities. Kite-flying competitions traditionally take place on city rooftops during Basant.

Mela Chiraghan:
Mela Chiraghan or the “Light of Festivals”; is an important and popular event in Lahore. This is celebrated at the same time as Basant, every spring on the last Friday of March, outside the Shalimar Gardens.

Horse and Cattle Show:
The National Horse and Cattle Show is one of the most famous annual festivals, held in spring in the Fortress Stadium. The week-long activities include a livestock display, horse and camel dances, colourful folk dances from all regions of Pakistan, mass-band displays, and tattoo shows in the evenings.

That’s it for this week my suggestion would be that if you are in Pakistan you must visit during Basant or any of the other festivals as it will surely add colour to your trip!