“…I would like to see the Punjab, the North-West Frontier Province, Sind and Baluchistan amalgamated into a single state…” - Muhammad Iqbal, Allahabad, 29th December 1930
This dream envisaged the genesis of the struggle and depicted the four provinces to appear on the world map as one nation state. We have, undoubtedly, grasped the literal message but have indisputably missed the soul within.
Imagine a devoted creator’s dream to get his own canvas to pencil-in his life-long reverie. He paints the entire canvas green with a vertical white stripe in the hoist. One white stroke of progress furnishes a crescent and another white stroke of light endows a five-pointed star. He knew that dreams come true if you survive the hard times. His wisdom was au fait. He writes: Don’t take my wailing as mere poetry, For I am aware of the secrets of the universe. It was, thus, vital to plunk pride into these tacitly expressive colours. This pride and selfhood was Khudi (Ego). The visualisation was handed-over to his son. The son stayed content only with the dazzling shades and somehow failed to empathise the message, fell short of appending value to further glorify it and neglected the extension of its worth which ultimately lead him to enveloped feudalism.
Iqbal’s Khudi and Pakistan today seems to be an imaginary line that divides the earth from the sky — a horizon. He endeavoured to raise the level of consciousness by presenting his unique vision of Khudi (Ego). Iqbal’s message motivated millions of Muslims to struggle for emancipation and it seems more applicable today. Fortuitous ignorance bred fear at that time and calculated fear is breeding repression today.
The condition today is not due to any democratic political party or dictator but it’s the consequence of our changing values. The catastrophe is that we have compromised our Khudi. Yesterday we sacrificed our desires to keep our Khudi intact and today we are sacrificing our Khudi for materialistic gains.
Voracity of riches has empowered our souls and ravenousness of power dictates our body making body and soul two separate entities. The act of discrimination has brought us to where we are today. Humility is the only riposte or elsewe will fail to honour the depth of Iqbal’s dream.
Teri khak mein woh sharer, keh khail O Fuqr O Ghana Na ker,
Kay jahan main nan-e-shaeer hai madare quwat-e-haidari
(Your mettle has the sparkling beyond the thought of richness or poverty,
As the strength of Ali lies on stale bread)
The thought of upshot makes my heart snivel. We need to learn the lesson again, revise the course again and ought to pass this exam. And if we fail to do so — a dream will die, a thought will cease and the root of existence (Khudi) will go to ashes.
The Holy Quran puts it as: “The one who causes this (self) to grow in purity has indeed attained success; and the one who is negligent of this (self) has indeed utterly failed.” (Al-Shams 91:9,10)
To have the courage to bid farewell to feign freedom, we need to attain the highest form of self-consciousness which is self-control. This strength of mind can help us discipline our lives and levitate to a level where we get acknowledged as a revered nation.
We can understand the concept of Khudi by practice. However the current mode, crouching on knees, stooping our self-image, and debasing our esteem, will consequently snatch our rights on our own Khudi.
Iqbal was frustrated by the lack of vigour in the lives of people. If he were alive, Iqbal would be filled with dismay over the same lack in identical spheres today. This proves that the depth of his message and its manifold implications have yet to be realised. Vested interests of most of the political regimes have not allowed us to reach the ideal of emancipation and creativity as envisioned by Iqbal.
Only our upcoming generation can help us emerge from the current dilemma. I urge all parents to please let their children understand Iqbal’s message.
“Indeed the evolution of life shows that, though in the beginning the mental is dominated by the physical, the mental as it grows in power, tends to dominate the physical and may eventually rise to a position of complete independence…” (Iqbal, 1989, p.85).
Let the cohort know that only education can help us fight this battle of smokes, only edification can show us the route out of this labyrinth and only learning can make us choose good leaders to guide and lead us.
Zindigi ho meri parwaane ki soorat ya rab
Ilm ki shama se ho mujko mohabat ya rab
(My life would be like that of a moth that loves light and flies into it,
O Lord! Such would be my love for knowledge, O Lord!)