By Dr. Farah Akram.
I know of a mother living overseas with her family, who taught her 3 year old daughter Dil Dil Pakistan because “It is the first patriotic song that comes to mind for me. It captures the love and patriotic spirit in the simplest words. And it is much easier for kids to learn than the national anthem.”
The recent death of Dil Dil Pakistan singer Junaid Jamshed was shocking. How the death came about was even more shocking. Pakistan, no in fact, the world lost a good person and a great role model that day. Social networks were abuzz with prayers, condolences and sombre reminisces of the famous scholar as well as demands for investigation of the fatal crash.
The reasons for the crash may become known or become lost among excuses and explanations. The tweets and posts praying for and praising Junaid Jamshed will be replaced by others.
And maybe then Dil Dil Pakistan might stop beating after all. But, I don’t want it to stop beating. And I don’t take this to mean, just the famous patriotic song. For me what does Pakistan mean? It is the land of believers. The land where one can practice their religion freely and passionately, no discrimination, no inhumanity. Pakistan is the land where religion and humanity were meant to reside in the heart, in the soul, in every beat, in every breath – Dil Dil Pakistan, Jaan Jaan Pakistan.
Junaid Jamshed gave up the glamour of showbiz to follow his religion. He gave up adoring fans for unforgiving critics. And even though he could be anywhere but here, he chose to be in Pakistan. He said he was Dil Dil Pakistan forever. I believe he was not the only one. Many great people have served our nation, tirelessly, enthusiastically. They truly embody the spirit of Dil Dil Pakistan. To me, Abdul Sattar Edhi was also Dil Dil Pakistan. His work for those in need and his efforts for promoting humanity and brotherhood are unequivocal. He too had reached a status where he could have gone anywhere for his treatment, yet he chose to stay in Pakistan. Amjad Sabri Dil Dil Pakistan. He united people from all over the world, from different religions through love of qawwalis, yet became a victim of those who understood neither religion nor humanity.
We grieve the loss of our scholars and role models deeply, yet forget what they stood for. Would not their deaths be in vain if we forget their actions and statements so quickly? Pakistan needs to find its spirit once more. The spirit of brotherhood, to live in peace without another despite differences. As Abdul Sattar Edhi once said: “People have become educated, but have yet to become human.”
If we truly love this nation’s heroes, then the best way to honour them is to carry their work forward. To love humanity and to respect religion. To ensure that Dil Dil Pakistan never stops beating, we need to become Dil Dil Pakistan.
Farah Akram. May Allah guide us to all that is right and good. Ameen.