By Zafar Sultan.
Watching curiously a group of twenty some students dancing at an Indian song, at a public parking, I went near them. The students, boys and girls, were all engrossed in chatters and claps, clanks and giggles, oblivious of the stares of bystanders around.
After a while when the song, being played in one of their cars had ended, I went to a gentle looking boy and asked him that which institution did they come from? ‘From a leading university of Islamabad,’ he responded very confidently. Almost hysterically, I nodded: ‘you people are our present and future, it’s not hard to decipher that what kind of future is in store for Pakistan,’ I remarked. ‘Why, why sir,’ he questioned, innocently. “Dear this isn’t the generation which would guard our culture and identity, uphold our glorious moral values and steer Pakistan to its very goals, it has been created for,’’ I chimed. Nodding in disapproval, he ambled to his fellow students.
Few minutes later, deafening music started emanating again and the students resumed dancing, this time girls only, casting obvious stares of disapproval and repugnance at me. Perhaps, that student had told them about his conversation with me, and they (the girl students) were reflecting displeasure through their disdainful chides and chuckles.
Deeply appalled, I left the scene recalling the past, the chilling partition episodes. In gory incidents thousands, of Muslim girls were kidnapped by Sikhs and extremist Hindus from Jammu camp and other areas where Muslims were reading to migrate to our Pakistan. Hundreds of kidnapped girls resorted to suicide to save their chastity.
Sadly, after the partition, when a partition commission was formed so as to recover lost people from different areas, history witnessed that when those Muslim women were approached to come back to Pakistan, many refused, expressing their despondency, as those Muslim women had become mothers of Hindu and Sikh children.
Sounds primitive? Thinking back about the students of that university, I really wondered that it wasn’t any fault of these students who are indeed our present and future. They have been groomed by our schools, colleges and then universities on these secular lines. These are students who are excellent grade achievers, confident English speakers but secular in their outlook and approach. This generation of ours ought to be taught, groomed, and acquainted with the purpose of the creation of Pakistan and the unprecedented sacrifices made to achieve it.
But who would mentor a generation with a sound orientation in their religion, culture, the struggle and sacrifices of Muslims for Pakistan? Our education system? Our elite institutions? Unfortunately, the answer doesn’t seem to be in affirmative.
There is no uniform education policy in the country. There are different education systems running parallel in the country. One of them is these elite institutions, for privileged only. These institutions have their own syllabus and culture. There students are trained to be very confident speakers and achievers .But during the course of their study, they are provided with such an atmosphere in which they slowly, and almost unknowingly start liking and learning those values which are far away from those thought by our religion and culture.
Personally, I observed that most of functions in the name of culture, sports, funfair and farewell in these leading institutes start with the recitation and end with singing and dancing. A visit to any leading university of the country would reveal the agonising fact that the education system is providing and promoting a westernised culture. Hearts of sensitive parents would ache to see non eastern trends and culture being promoted and practiced by generation.
Not surprisingly, after graduation, these students have a predominantly secular look towards life. They have an obvious disliking, if not hatred for those who have some semblance of regard for core values and culture of land. Given that these graduates have a very strong academic credentials, confidence, they clinch significant positions in professional life. Subsequently, these people with power, start influencing the people under or around them. Their decisions actually matter and shape the course of the country.
Another dismaying impact of this division is that the students graduating from the government schools and the seminaries are entirely different in their ideology and approach toward life. They feel a sense of inferiority before them, and justifiably so, and revulsion against the westernised individuals, so a fragmented generation is being mushroomed which subsequently weakens national unity.
Are their concerned intellectuals at provisional Text boards and HEC to direct and supervise schools, colleges and universities to groom our generation on ideological lines? Are there academics that can sweat to save our generation from becoming ultra-seculars? All need to work in unison otherwise our literacy rate might soar in near future but Pakistan would lose generations: of dreams of Iqbal and Quaid.
The writer is an academics and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org