“What is now required of us all is constructive spirit and not the militant spirit of the days when we were fighting for our freedom. It is far more difficult to construct than to have a militant spirit for the attainment of freedom. It is easier to go to jail or fight for freedom than to run a Government.”
- Mr. Jinnah / Quaid-e-Azam
- Speech: The Role of Students in Nation Building
- Context: Speech at the Dacca University Convocation
Postcolonial progress requires evolving from colonial norms and culture. Freedom has been acquired, and the militant spirit of yesteryears has found itself transformed into constructive endeavors of nation-building, of exerting and striving for progress.
The soul of postcolonial people was weighted down with a great weariness and overlaid with the filth of centuries of colonial maladministration. Independence was a hard-won struggle and the people did not wish to be hurried into the effort of education or proper self-governance via intellectual exertion; independence was immediately followed by holocaust of the partition and much of our history is infected by a series of dictators and parasitical nepotistic dynasties who pummeled the country into dark times and the people had to endure.
Nation building requires transforming the mental attitudes of our people and creating awareness of the nation’s highest aspirations, hopes, sentiments and desires. The building of a world-class progressive muslim democracy requires a great outburst, among the people, of national spirit released and searching for progress.
Constructive spirit requires building strong international collaboration to learn from the best in the world. Accelerating progress requires proliferation of ideas and people-to-people connectivity with developed and developing nations. Copy pasting solutions from developed countries does not work, while importing technology from developed nations is definitely key – the legislation, rules, taxation and application of technology will have to tailor to cultural and social context in a way that it may transform the technology itself.
An efficiently run government is extremely responsive to shifting needs and priorities of the nation. Meticulously running the government’s machinery with all its democratic norms and ushering in an era of rapid progress needed for the prosperity of a people most worthy of it – is a much harder task than the fighting spirit required during the freedom struggle. A winning mindset requires us to strategize, build, act and continue striving, ceaselessly, for progress.
Constructive spirit, also, relies on faith. Faith endures when there’s no way to imagine winning in the foreseeable future, faith is more mystical*. It takes faith to change what’s in the long-term, beyond what a single generation might live to see or benefit from. Sometimes the terrain of our action is immaterial, the realm of the symbolic, political discourse and collective imagination.
The citizens of Pakistan envision a grand future for Pakistan and sincerely believe in its inevitable fruition, we will measure ourselves by our lofty aspirations and by our bold efforts to realize our ambitions.
* source: Hope in the dark - Rebecca Solnit
Read This Next
All Reads on This Topic