Recitation of national anthem banned in schools in Pakistan?
We are a nation that came into being after a lot of bloodshed yet we managed to survive because our ancestors had belief in their leaders, and they wanted to have a prosperous future for us. The leaders were the ones who instilled confidence and trust into those who were hesitating to migrate, and it is because of them that we are now living in a free country.
Sadly, the current generation is in no way on the path the ancestors wanted them to be, and the main reason is the absence of honest leaders. Leaders don’t mean politicians at all. In fact those who have the ability to lead us in the right direction are the ones, I believe, the leaders. They can be the owners of a large firm, members of the community with a vision, as well as teachers and administrators in the colleges and schools of the country. But being influential doesn’t mean one can use the powers to their own agenda … and that’s what I would like to talk about today.
The population of Pakistan is increasing day by day, yet we don’t seem to agree on any one thing in particular. There are Shias and Sunnis in the country, there are those who want to be known as Sindhis, Punjabis etc rather than Pakistanis, and then there are the elite as well as those who aren’t. The only thing Pakistanis agree to agree upon is the National Anthem, as it unifies them all under one umbrella. This is no simple achievement and we should all respect that, and bathe in the influence of the great anthem.
Yet some of the schools where the elites send their children think otherwise. They believe that going ‘the American way’ is the best way to study, and their kids should not ‘waste’ the 90 seconds daily in the assembly singing the national anthem, as it doesn’t make them proficient in anything. They have the administrators on their side who believe that the anthem is in difficult Urdu and shouldn’t be sung as it’s a burden to the students.
Is it the best thing to do on behalf of both the parents and administrators? No, I don’t agree with them. I do admit that the anthem is difficult but that’s because it is in Persian language. Only one word ‘Ka‘ is in Urdu, and that’s why it seems difficult. The administrators wouldn’t know much about the anthem because they never checked, and why would they when they have a school to run, and the only ones who can afford to pay their hefty fees are the elites, and their kids.
Sadly, the issue wasn’t raised by the media because I am sure that the kids of these media moguls would be attending the schools that have banned the practice of singing the national anthem. For a change, the politicians and ministers took the matter in their hand and took serious notice of the issue, and expressed extreme displeasure at the institutions. They were right in claiming this set of attitude as a joke of national identity and have instructed all institutions to make singing national anthem mandatory.
In these elite schools, the students stay back and play games after hours – is it not a waste of time and resources? The students go to tuition centres despite being taught at school by the same teacher – is it not a waste of time? The children hang out with friends all day and night, talk to them on phone as well as chat with them despite meeting every day, but that doesn’t seem like a waste of time to the administrators or parents, whoever has the control over the territory. I think that blaming the national anthem for less productivity is a waste of time, and instead of debating on this issue, we should find the root cause and rid of it once and for all.