“I am not making any particular reference to you but now that I have had the opportunity of talking to you I must warn you not to allow your actions to be guided by ill-digested information or slogans or catchwords. Do not take them to heart or repeat them parrot-like. Take advantage of your period of training that this institution offers you, by equipping yourself to become leaders of the future generation.”
- Mr. Jinnah / Quaid-e-Azam
- Speech: Responsibilities of the youth
- Context: Speech in reply to the address presented by the Students of Islamia College, Peshawar
Pakistan’s social advance requires a vigorous and downright promotion and enablement of free critical thinking. This is because the history of civilization is the history of the displacement of old conceptions by new ones more conformable to the facts. It is the record of the removal of old institutions and ways of living, in favour of others of greater convenience and ampler capacity, at once multiplying and satisfying human requirements.
Pakistanis who take the trouble to form their own opinions and beliefs will feel that they owe no responsibility to the majority for their conclusions. If they are genuine lovers of truth, if they are inspired by the divine passion for seeing things as they are, and a divine abhorrence of holding ideas which do not conform to the facts, they will be wholly independent of the approval or assent of the persons around them.
Pakistan only grows better, even in the moderate degree in which it does grow better, because citizens wish that it should, and take the right steps to make it better.
Evolution is not a force, but a process; not a cause, but a law. Vibrant social energy to make rapid progressive advances will be produced by creating a culture of optimism that we can achieve radical social modifications in our lifetime. Progress is produced by means of citizens who are possessed by special progressive ideas. Such ideas do not spring up uncaused and unconditioned in vacant space. They have had a definite origin and ordered antecedents. They are in direct relation with the past.
We need to create a culture of unhindered critical thinking so that we can produce citizens of rare intelligence, active, alert, inventive, who by constitution or training find their chief happiness in thinking in a disciplined and serious manner how things can be better done.
A review of Pakistan’s social structure points to three major sources of obstructions in the way of free thought: 1.) nepotistic political parties 2.) maulvis and Islamic clergy 3.) repressive martial law. There’s a mass of people that support each of these blindly and often repeat slogans in a parrot-like fashion.
Pakistanis resolve to create a fact-based culture of free thinking to build courage for a portion of our society that can have enough nerve to grasp the banner of a new truth, and endurance enough to bear it along rugged and untrodden ways in the face of aforementioned obstructions.
We will train ourselves with discipline, education, and constructive spirit and become leaders of the future generation.
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