“Those of you who are about to enter the life, be on your guard against these people. Those of you who have still to continue your studies for some time, do not allow yourselves to be exploited by any political party or self-seeking politician. As I said the other day, your main occupation should be in fairness to yourselves, in fairness to your parents and indeed, in fairness to the State, to devote, your attention solely to your studies. It is only thus that you can equip yourselves for the battle of life that lies ahead of you. Only thus, will you be an asset and a source of strength and of pride to your State. Only thus, can you assist it in solving the great social and economic problems that confront it and enable to reach its destined goal among the most progressive and strongest nations of the world.”
- Mr. Jinnah / Quaid-e-Azam
- Speech: The Role of Students in Nation Building
- Context: Speaking at the Dacca University Convocation
Pakistan's historic ambition is to transform itself into a progressive nation. A progressive nation believes that the conditions of the social union are not a mystery, only to be touched by miracle, but the results of explicable causes, and susceptible of constant modification, that the thoughts of wise and patriotic men and women should be perpetually turned towards the improvement of these conditions in every direction.
The citizens of Pakistan cannot simply acquiesce to the social, legal, economic and political ordering and arrangements that have come down to us from the past. While there is dignity in ancestry, our society must condition itself to be elastic enough to endure a series of radical and rapid changes. Any contented acquiescence in the ordering that has come down to us from the past is selfish and anti-social, because amid the ceaseless change that is inevitable in a growing organism, the institutions of the past demand progressive re-adaptations.
A progressive society is like a growing organism and its values, cultures and institutions must be in a continuous flux of iterations and modifications. A nation's iterative process of rapid developments cannot slacken or cease to be visible as that means the demise of national conscience.
Social, economic and political improvements have explicable causes. Our progress will come from citizens who are equipped with superior moral insight, ferocious zeal, and habit of relentless energetic work in the face of obstruction and difficulties. We ought to enable our citizens by:
Carving out the greatest possible scope for individual initiative and limit the sphere of authority.
Creating a culture of equal economic & political opportunity. The guiding principle will be that people most likely to suffer from injustice must be enabled by increasing their participation in their own government and economy.
Investing and disrupting our education system so that we create a nation-wide network of educational institutes that provide Pakistan with a definitive pipeline of future leaders.
Promoting and protecting freedom of expression across all platforms. This will empower citizens to ideate and propagate new ideas aiming for Pakistan’s progress. The time has always come, and the season is never unripe, for the announcement of fruitful new ideas.
Developing a fact-based social, political, and economic culture where the truth weighs supreme. This is because the history of civilization is the history of the displacement of old conceptions by new ones more conformable to the facts.
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