Is colonial mentality impeding Pakistan's progress?

(Saqib Mustafa, Rawalpindi)

Freedom is something that Pakistan gained on 14th August 1947. It was described as a day of joy for our forefathers and the motivation to move forward without anything holding them back. They would have their own rights to follow and their own culture to enjoy. The main factor was that everyone could follow religion without the fear of being hurt or worse killed.

Nevertheless, our forefathers never realized that being under the British rule for too long, they had become imprisoned in their mindset. Even today, the colonial mentality prevails inside Pakistani’s mind one way or the other. Firstly, we see the striking similarities of the fashion in Pakistan, we with that of the West. Shalwar kameez is now mostly worn on weddings, Eid’s or going to someone’s house. From our way of dressing to our education, a tiny speck of the colonial rule still lingers. Moreover, from the moment a child is born, we start teaching him/her the alphabets ABC whereas, very few of us start from ا ب پ the Urdu alphabets. We take pride in the fact that our child knows the English nursery rhymes and not the Urdu ones. As a result, the child refuses to speak the native language thinking of it as inferior. Peter Trudgill in his book Sociolinguistic An introduction to language and society states “If rich and powerful people more technologically advanced than yourself tell you frequently enough that your language is inferior and backward, you may end up believing them and come to think that way yourself. If you also see that people who speak your language are treated unfavorably and discriminated against, then that too will obviously be a powerful disincentive against using it. (193) Gradually, people start to view English speaking Pakistanis as someone of a higher caliber and the one speaking the native language such as Punjabi, Pashto etc. of lower caliber.

People talk about making the country a better place, but the question that arises is that how we can do it if every other person talks about going ‘outside’ the country for every other reason. Those who cannot do so, continue living here, but those who can, don’t hesitate for a moment and book a flight saying ‘Allah Hafiz’ to the country. The colonial mentality does hinder in the progress of our country since we do not feel comfortable in our own culture and traditions. We ‘copy’ the West, so that we are viewed as their equal. We seek their approval in every matter and degrade anyone who does not ‘look’ like them. Due to this, the West does not think any high of us than they did when they were ruling the sub-continent.

Realistically speaking, we cannot feign ignorance to these aspects since “Ignorance is the mother of poverty.” (Sir Syed Ahmed Khan). We do need to learn the English language since it is the ‘universal’ language. We also need to know about the current situations; the advancements in technology, the new discovery about something, the current situation of politics all over the world but doing so, we should never forget ourselves as a Muslim and as a Pakistani.

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08 Nov, 2018 Views: 2679


آپ کی رائے
amazing work
By: saira, Kabirwala on May, 30 2020
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