Fresher Becomes A Junior: Ends the Sophomore Year

It is time that flies and I be the adventurer cast a spell on myself and flew along – wingardium leviosa – swish and then flick!

It was exactly two years ago when I merited my admission to this hundred years old institution in Lahore, the name is quite English though, Kinnaird College. It were the summers in two thousand and thirteen when I cleared the entrance exams and the interviews and finally set myself on the road to become an Economist and later to realize that Newton was right, for every economist’s theory there exists another economist’s equal and opposite theory – no, wait, newton was talking about forces! I should be very sorry for my dull humor though the world would have been in chaos if some dull person did not tell them that their means can’t meet their ends, we all want the best we can get, don’t we! I got what I wanted, admission in the city’s primer institutes for grooming girls and producing the most success females in the country.

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August the twenty sixth was my first day at the university and finding myself before a computer desk to enroll in various courses got my head spinning that very evening. However, the day at the campus was short because you can’t go on with an orientation program for too long I suppose, it already makes half the attendees dizzy. As for me I was wide awake, the motto was fascinating, charming and inspiring and pretty much a canon to live by. “Light to guide us, courage to support us, love to unite us!” The motto is pretty much the persona of a true KCite in herself and me too, perhaps. With light, courage and love I began my journey as a fresher. Tiring schedules, arduous workload, lectures, assignments, quizzes, projects, exams… friends, chatters, laughter, gags, snacks, music… events, people, experiences, performances, prizes… learning, growing, prospering… And ended the sophomore year.

I am as anxious for the university to reopen this August as I was excited for August the twenty sixth to break two years ago, the transition from a fresher to junior was an experience in itself and now the junior awaits at the platform number nine quarters for she anticipates a better journey ahead, I await the arrival of the Kinnaird Express!

Until I graduate, please keep your theories in reserves, I am already paying quite a high rate of interest for having an interest in the existing ones. And this is so unfair that my keyboard doesn’t have a “tongue out” key on it, somebody should be fined for this.

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Waiting makes me hungry, time for a snack!

Cheers!

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Introducing Me: Identity – More Than A Name

Love me or hate me, I am me – the crazy young me! Have been around here for more than twelve months and not surprisingly as an unnoticed commentator. The English idiom for the Urdu phrase pouncing in my mind right now is: it’s better late than never! So, here is a big hello to the world! Introducing me: this is Zahra from Pakistan or more precisely a twenty year old girl named Zahra from the city of Lahore in the Asian country of Pakistan; this is the right way to introduce oneself, isn’t it so? My name can very well identify me but is it the whole of my identity? I believe otherwise.

What did you conceive when this piece of text read you that I hail from the land called Pakistan? Never mind, I’m sure to erase the conceptions; if it were some text message I would have inserted a smiling emoticon after the last remark.

“Zahra, is a youth with a persona unique to her – developed through the course of time ageing in an environment that ensured her intellectual nurturing to observe, learn and grow which perhaps pretty much aptly explains this domain in use: Facts and Commentary. She is fluent in her mother tongue and Pakistan’s lingua franca Urdu and possesses an exceptional command over what would ideally be called the language of the world, English. Interested in history and culture she has learned a very few basic words from foreign languages alongside her ethnic medium of communication Punjabi. Economy and politics interest her and sports, cricket in particular have earned her fondness while cartoons and animes have always been an attraction, a voracious reader but not a book worm as technology is convenient enough to lend the world at a click’s access to innumerous articles and what not and has a peculiar taste in music, arts and crafts. She is a happy go lucky vibrancy wandering about the walkways flaunting her self-absorbed observant dressing stealing chatters, giving away a chirpy smile and speaking her complex mind, composes her tunes and dances her own moves. Simply oddity in disguise of a youth!” reads the book of biographies residing in the shelf tagged “1995” in the old archive.
Zee

Have I identified myself, really? No! My identity is my surname in the society, my nationality in the lands demarcated as outer spaces to my beautiful homeland’s territory and my skill to interact and ability to juggle with words here in the world of writers rather bloggers. I am a writer by no academic qualifications, trainings or made choices; I am a writer by trait, a natural player of words be them Urdu or English… I am no champion though! Learning through life is what I believe in and that is what keeps me going. Why do I exist in this world away from the one we all originally belong to? I am here to state facts and make comments; facts about anything or everything about the life that I live… a journey of challenges in this mortal world… and comment on anything or everything about the life I live… an extravaganza, a spectrum of colors…

An identity is but beyond a name and now you know mine, will you join me in my quest to bring a positive change in life of my own and everyone else because I wish the world was a gentler place?

Hasta La Vista, Amigos!

The Diverse Pakistan and Partial Public Opinion

It is unanimously agreed upon that Public Opinion is the fundamental to establishment and regulation of an effective democracy and an effective Public Opinion ensures a strong democratic set-up. As is the case with all other elements Public Opinion must meet some criteria to be sound and effective. The exercise of democracy requires for the people’s representatives to be well aware of the trends of Public Opinion in the various and must harbour them and keep them under consideration as policies are laid out.

 

 

Some requirements of an effective Public Opinion, would academically be, enlisted as: Vigilance and Awareness, National Integration, Freedom of Press and Publication to render possible efficient flow of information, Freedom of Expression to let surface all opinions whether of majority or minorities, Tolerance to scrutinize and comprehend the dynamics and stance of all opinions expressed by each community…

 

To analyse the Pakistani society in context of the above stated requirements it remains essential to comprehend the realities of the society subject to discussion. Pakistan is a multi-national country rendering home to many ethnicities hailing from the land with a centuries’ old background or soaking in its soil the influx of thousands of migrants. It is a society subject to segregation of class, religion and creed. It is a fact that the Pakistani society which is an amalgam of numerous cultures and linkage of thousands of years old traditions which merge into one beautifully diverse heritage. The divides are ethnic, religious and linguistic as well as class base and sectarian. The rule of Might is Right prevails and leaves a large number fallen dependent on a countable elite to play their puppets.

Pakistanis, due to lack of awareness and absence of culture o commons’ empowerment, tend to be ignorant of the affairs of political nature which directly or scarcely indirectly have an impact on them and their lives. Hence, the people are the least bit interested in what happens and aren’t vigilant in acting upon any developments and establishing logical opinions. Due to no awareness in regard to fundamental rights as citizens and no comprehension of implications of various acts the masses remain distant from voicing their opinions in various matters. For instance, It is quite understood a fact that a layman can never comprehend how the amendment in the Army Act would be exercised and how will the military courts work to serve justice and how the criteria for a case to be dealt by a military court shall be met. In the alleged rigging scenario it is evident that electoral frauds, systematic or not, did take place in the general polls of 2013. Why is the common man so ignorant to existence of bogus votes in every other constituency put to scrutiny, whether deliberately or not someone’s right to vote has been exploited and someone’s opinion has been committed theft on. Why is the public so ignorant? Until or unless an institution trustworthy and capable elucidates the dynamics and inferences of the above discussed the masses can never logically and ideally develop a consensus.

As outlined above, Pakistani society is subject to many divides and mismanagement, administrative and political failures, bad governance, ignorance, indifference, avariciousness and prejudices have carved differences over the years. People are tangled in religious, cultural, racial, linguistic and social loyalties undermining the spirit of unity and harmony. The ethnic divisions are exploited the most by those who are self-proclaimed flag carriers of general public’s’ interests. Until a Punjabi would treat a Sindhi equal to himself, an Urdu speaking would accept a Pashtun, a Saraik would bond with a Punjabi and a Punjabi would mingle with a Baloch and an elite would stop looking down to a less privileged and a Muslim would accept a Christian neighbour and Quran would be respected by a follower of Gita and a Shia would be protected by a Sunni and a Sunni be graceful to a Shia, there won’t be a general consensus that could be framed as the Public Opinion because until then none would rise above segregation to consider the benefit and good of Pakistan. Until prejudices are undone no Public Opinion can be established.

Post Musharraf’s Enlightened Moderation Pakistan has experienced a drastic evolution in print and electronic media and the social media has established basis over past five or so years. Freedom of press and publication is an essential for efficient and proper channelling of right information to the people on the basis of which they can establish the Public Opinion. It is, however, quite an unfortunate fact that the fighters of the right to free publication and freedom of expression have succeeded in breaking the baseless bars but have gone past an extent of fair play and responsible journalism. It is quite evident that Pakistani media today is acting a puppet to various elements whether internal or external. There is no better example than to incite the coverage of the record hundred and twenty six days long sit-in staged in the Federal Capital. One media house adamantly declared it a failure in the very first hour and one remained defensive toward the anti-government protest till the very end. Which media house was quite performing its obligation and which vindicated some agenda? Who lead the people by fair means and who manipulated the public opinion? Freedom of press and publication and expression must prevail but the media must honestly perform its duty. Without impartial channelling of information it is rather impossible to formulate an effective public opinion.

Pakistani society is found to be intolerant in various aspect. The educated class overcomes the prejudices and develops a sense of respect for opinions. This trait is, however, not very common. People are ardent followers of a school of thought or prejudiced by generations to an extent not tolerate even a notion which is against their interests or convictions. An intolerant society which cannot respect opinions does not let freedom of expression to fittingly fulfil its purpose and hence, a general consensus is never reached.

Illiteracy, Baradrism and Wdera culture are other factors which hurdle establishment of an effective Public Opinion. An illiterate society can never break the shackles the colonial mindset, comprehend dynamics, scrutinize implications and tolerate difference of opinions and slaves of Jagirdars and Waderas will never be able to think independently. An illiterate can never undermine religio-ethno-socio prejudices. It is necessary to educate and train minds to formulate effective Public Opinion to root and nurture a strong democracy in Pakistan.

The Cold Blooded Morning…

Time is the most effective cure. Time and again, this phrase is repeated and till date; seldom does any individual differ on this note. Will Time ever cure the fever of bereavement in which the nation has been caught as an aftermath of what no sane imagination can swallow? Will December16,2014 ever be forgotten?

 

It was a cold morning in Lahore when this Naive Commentator woke up to the morning call. The day was pretty quiet, though cold, for the few hours preceding its break. December16, the date on the calendar had set the thinking chip’s timeframe for forty three years before. Giving a few thoughts to the worst and the most tragic chapter of the country’s tattered history, she was only making some vague attempts to scrutinize the dynamics and trying to affirm her stance on her country’s division. This was a sane start to the most terribly lunatic dawn of her life. While the past was lingering on, through the thinking course, terror made a stealthy entrance into the Army Public School of Peshawar and the media channels soon reported that it was a Cold Blooded December Morning in Peshawar… The day dampened into redness of thick fluid which runs through every human’s body; perhaps those unimaginable creatures, who made the bold headlines on 16th December, also had a red fluid in their bodies.

 

Whichever route they took, those slayers reached the main auditorium of APS… They sprayed bullets at innocent children, they handpicked students and butchered them at the altar of an incomprehensible ideal… They set ablaze the bodies of humans… The air would have carried oxygen comprising atoms of fright, fear, terror, horror, trepidation, tyranny, savagery, cruelty, brutality, animalty, barbarianism… Children are the most adorable and lovable beings, they are innocent, sensitive and frail. Did they realize what those weapons were? Could they visualize what was happening? Did they cry and beg for mercy? Did they snivel to be spared? Could they speak or their throats bulked with last bubbles of life? Did their hearts pound against their rib gate to break through it? Those who survived the inhuman beheading and slaughtering would have been crucified mentally. Sucking in their fearful breaths, suppressing their violent heartbeats, being spanked by their iron feet, lying frozen like a blue corpse, bundled with dead friends or under bleeding bodies…. What would have they been thinking, whom would have they been calling out to…. What could have happened if they mourned? What could have happened if their eyelid fluttered?

 

Loss, pain, grief, agony, anguish, bereavement, trauma, affliction, tribulation; the dawn of December16,2015 had broken with…. A Cold Blooded Morning… The sun had not dared to shine,it would have been a bloody red dusk had it done so… The nation was left mourning and lamenting over the loss of approximately hundred and fifty tender lives. The children of the victimized yet alleged nation had been ripped to flesh bits by the ferocious creatures, in fury of being targeted.

 

The Naive Commentator read and heard the international community condemning the barbaric act, showing resolve to eliminate the scourge of terrorism and extremism. She also read and heard the cause of attack as “going to school.” She could not comprehend the ironic difference between the confession of the criminals and the published statement of the case. Was the confessed reaction to military action the reality or was going to school the actual sin?

 

January12,2015 was another cold day in Lahore, temperature had dropped by a few degrees over the month, when the Naive Commentator again woke up to the morning call. It was the start of the third week of the new year and the morning was misty cold yet not quiet. She had woken up on an exam day not a holiday. Her brain cells were active in thinking as she flew across her room gathering her stuff and, ironically, her thoughts revolved around December16…. December16,2014…. It had been a cold blooded morning and the pigment was still thick red in her eyes… She had the reel rolling in her head and the visuals tuned to her sight…. She had fears of seeing a bloody reality…. She had reached the entrance gate of her institute as the needle on her watch kept ticking with fluctuating visuals in her sight. For the first time, after the initial first ten odd days at the institute, she had to get her identity verified before entering her home of learning. The identity card which gripped the glossy wallet pocket had, at last, come out for this time her very recognizable face required recognition unlike before. Marching on the bricked walkway past the grass green lawns and the baked red brick structure, she made a realization that seeing those images in grass green and baked red was her and the nation’s Victory. APS Peshawar had let its gates swing open again: Welcome the Seekers of Knowledge, Messengers of Love, Preachers of Peace…

 

January16,2015…. Exactly a month past the barbaric slaughtering of the children of the nation, the hearts beat for those innocent subjects of unjustifiable abimalty. December16,2014 will never be forgotten, the blood of our Shohada (martyrs) will never dry black…

The most resilient nation of the planet, the epitome of courage, stands up… We bow to one God only, we submit to the Almighty only, we fear the Lord of Judgement only… We will never forget, we will never let it be forgotten, we will avenge and our revenge lies in our progression…

 

Pakistan Zindabad !

Posing Threats to Pakistan’s External Sovereignty – The US Drone Strikes

Post the tragedy of September11,2011 and the first assault on American soil the World Super Power unleashed the wide scale War on Terror. The war undertaken for the eradication of terror endorsing units around the globe has affected Pakistan domestically as well as internationally. The state has been tagged with titles as Terrorist State, Rogue State, the International Migraine et cetera. Domestically the nation has been subject to massive bloodshed, terror and destruction in socio-economic perspectives.  Pakistan has been the major victim of militancy laid from both side: America and the Terrorists. The terrorists have seen Pakistan’s rugged Northern Areas as hideouts from assaults in across the border territories of Afghanistan and the people of Pakistan have been the prey of their ideological extremist activities vitally through suicide bombings. The sons of the soil have been and are being crucified at the altar of what remains a topic of concern for naïve intellects. On the opposite to this atrocious slaughtering and unjustified sacrificing of blood to inhumane practices the American forces in collaboration with International Community stand as an ally inflicting brutalities on Pakistanis. America and its post World Trade Centre Tragedy associates have undertaken wide variety of warfare tactics and strategies to claim this Guerilla War, to which Pakistan stands as a stout actor, which have rendered controversial consequences. One of the methodologies employed by the technologically advanced alienated forces of Anti-Terrorism clans has been Drone Strikes.
Drones, the programmed crafts which set their trajectory to a specified target and shoot to vandalize it from thin air, are the finest warfare equipment employed by the United States of America to hunt and shoot dead the terrorists hypothetically hiding in the Northern Areas of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The tabled question is outlined in a manner to inquire how these aerial strikes violate the external sovereignty of Pakistan. Every legitimate coin has two faces and so the critique on this issue has two aspects – Yes and No.
The state of Pakistan affirms its rigid stance on Drone Strikes and has denied on several global forums including the United Nations’ desk any concede to or sanction of Drone Strikes within its territorial bounds. It vehemently negates all such postulates which state of Government Pakistan’s consent to the exercise. Any assault made vanquishing a country’s territory without consent of the state is Violation of the External Sovereignty of the State by all codes of International Sovereignty Laws and the Laws of Domestic Privacy.

The continued exercise of Drone Strikes by the United States of America poses challenge to the Parliamentary Sovereignty of the State of Pakistan and its legitimate Independence for the Parliament of Pakistan has unanimously agreed upon numerous resolutions which attest of the State’s standpoint on Drones: United States of America must halt the process of subduing the state’s geographical borders. Through this, America stands infringing all the laws of International Sovereignty and the United Nations Charter of use of force, also to be held alleged of extra judicial murders in the very context.
The Amnesty International and Human Rights report released the precious year brings under question the surgical nature of Drone Strikes in Pakistan. By the norms of warfare, as the proposition team to legality of the aerial assaults, no brigade may assault the non combatants, innocent civilians should not be subject to hostilities, women and children should not be assailed, crops and building should not be destroyed, the soldiers should not rendered to unjust violence and the prisoners of war must not be conducted with vicious regimes. The ground information puts forth fact otherwise to the proclaimed objective of the Drone Strikes inciting figures of civilian casualties. The report builds on this foundation to declaration of US Drone attacks as violation of the external sovereignty of Pakistan.
Defying the humanitarian norms and the flagship laws of human rights protection the United States of America stands on the negative and a culprit to the state and the people of Pakistan as asserts the United Nations having undertaken a secret inquiry of civilian casualties as a consequence of the unlawful drone attacks. It was decreed in March 2013 by the United Nations after the report of the investigation upheld that US Drone strikes subjugate the external sovereignty of Pakistan.
On the basis of the above documented premises it is a fact concretely established that US Drone strikes violated the external sovereignty of Pakistan and with their counter productivity renders Pakistan subject to collateral damage and socio-cultural massacre as the child witnessing extra judicial homicide of his relations retrieving perhaps only a piece of their flesh which would be a vulture’s morsel, would only grow up into an avenging rage set to burn alive the remains of his family’s assassins/.
The war, to which Pakistan is a party, can never be won through muscle of artillery. Militant action dwells as a requirement but negotiations and intellectual grooming of the nation alongside address to fundamental deprivations of the people is the sole solution to the predicament encountered.

Endangered

The phrase that hears every ear these days, Democracy Is Endangered, is quite controversial. If the intellectuals could explain to the commons like this immature commentator the meaning of this statement then it would benefit the society. Democracy to the theorists and scientists, however, remains to be an affair “to the people, for the people, by the people.” If the hypothesis stands any value claim than it is likely to conceive an idea that the practitioners of democracy should be the representatives of the people and elected by the people to serve the people. If the parliamentarians are for the people, by the people then it remains a compulsion on them to be with the people. If the hypothesis is somewhat not fallacious then the elected representatives of the people should talk of the people, for the people, with the people… If the alliteration is so coherent then it sits due on the parliamentarians to lend an ear to the grievances of the masses, scrutinize the past failures, identify the systemic faults, address the primary challenges facing the common man’s survival and ensure the just service of fundamental human and citizen rights to the people…
If the above premises are sound and valid then what is the status of the government which is alleged of committing of theft on the nation’s right to vote, charged with murder of innocent civilians, accused of denial of justice, burdened with poverty of ten million, questioned of sincerity to state institutions…?
The query propelling the commentator’s nieve sense of comprehension to bewilderment is: Is it the democracy under threat or are the people endangered by the demand for service of justice…?
Democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers…

“Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have.”
– Winston Churchill

The Unsung Hero – A Tribute to Womanhood

Her surge is a struggle that is incessant
Like some usung hero, a sergent
Bound, taken down yet so fervent

To her the art of nurturing is known
From her hand the seed of life is sown
Each day, till dusk, since dawn

The.essence of society, the key, the shield
Without her, there would be no fruit, no yield
Wash, clean, cook and pick from the field

Storms haunt, hails frighten or shines the sun
Seven days a week, she remains on the run
With panels to knit, with woods to burn

Shackled to customs, thrown into a cage
Oppressed by law, her sentiments seldom enrage
It is from her crib that begins the life’s voyage

Jashn-E-Azadi

Queer activity it would be to post a poem on a blog – Strange thing it would be to post Urdu verses on an English blog. The blogger herself is, nonetheless, no personification of normality. Having given an unnecessary prologue, allow the words to print on this clipboard…

Pakistan lets freedom ring six and a half decades after its inception on August 14, 1947…

Pazaib ki jhankar nahi, sangeeno’n ka saaz.hun main

Kisi shayar ki ghazal hi sahi, aik khuwab ki zinda tabeer hun main

Baghawat ka aelan nahi, sarfaroshi ki sada hun main

Sitam zareefi ka qissa nahi, sar-e-aam zindano’n ki dastan hun main

Kya hi khuwab hun ke haqiqat bhi hun main

Kya hi subh hun ke ta hayat-e-kainat hun main

Janoon ki misl hi sahi, zoq-e-yaqeen ka aaina hun main

Zanjeerein kaat phenki thi’n, shikanjey mein ab bhi hun main

Pehle zakhmi hota tha, ab natwan ho gaya hun main

Lahu rista tha jism sey, ab mafluj hua jata hun main

Chand sargoshiyan hi sahi, ek aur bazu sey mehrum ho sakta hun main

Qyas na karna koi ke baras aur kitney likhwa laya hun main

Zor-e-bazu pe karna na bharosa ke jazbey ka koh-e-garan hun main

Aik dastan-e-ishq hi sahi, tareeki mein payam-e-subh hun main

Kamsen hai meri nasl-e-jawan, mayus nahi hun main

Ab ho gi qismat-e-khuwabida ki sehar, purumeed hun main

Uth’tey hain tufan, uthney bhi do, khamzada Daryao’n ki sarzameen hun main

Merey khun sey holi khelney walo, mohabbat ki saqafat hun main

Zarkhez hai Jo dharti meri, lahu sey sehrab hun main

Kar lo har kawish, Jo ho tum sey sazish, nishan-e-azm-e-aali shan hun main

Nahi hota yun main be-aabru, markaz-e-yaqeen hun main

Aik dua hi sahi, tarjuman-e-mazi, shan-e-haal, jaan-e-istaqbal hun main

Lamha bhar zeest nahi, sadiyon ki tareekh hun main

Zinda hun main, zinda hun main, dekh lo ke aaj bhi zinda hun main …

Jashn-E-Azadi Mubarik!

Dreams – The Interpretation

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true which makes life interesting.” 
– Paulo Coelho
Do I believe in this or not is a question, but what exactly does Coelho mean by a “dream”? A ride to utopia during the night or fantasizing an event during the bright day? The Alchemist would interpret this dream as the realization and pursuit of one’s “personal legend”. This vague and illegible observer, however, terms ambitions, aspirations and intents as dreams. The road to of destiny is twisted, dusty, rugged and torn; the journey is long, tiring, arduous and challenging. Challenges make life difficult but interesting – An arguable notion. Each one is born with a talent, skill or trait that makes him special. There may be a Jack of all trades but there isn’t a Master of all trades. One’s strengths would always be unexploited and ill-utilized resources until the spade of hardships is pierced into them. If there wasn’t a defense line keeping a goal, scoring the finest goals would be easy but not extravagant. Challenges bring the best out – An undeniable fact. Not everyone is destined to have everything and not every struggle is a success story. The journey must be continued through heat and tire. The chosen path may leave one stranded in the middle of nowhere, wonderland perhaps. But the caravan must move forward. It’s the courage to continue that counts, as remarks Churchill. Saddle up… One only needs courage, staunch intent and robust dedication to battle the odds, hop across the pits and plunder the castles of fear in the quest of conquering the kingdom of Dreams – And the quest makes life interesting…

Social Outlook Of Colonial Lahore (1849-1947)

 

The geography and demography of the ancient Brahman city has seen an incessant change through the ages. The culture of this mythical town has, however, some staunch characteristics for centuries. Lahore has always enjoyed an insignificant status of a religious hub; discovered by the son of the legendary hero of the epic of Ramayana and held as the home of temples and shrines by the subsequent rulers. Lahore and its residents have always maintained a particular sanctity with this respect and their norms, customs and society is painted with its vivid and glossy colors. The typical demographic homogeneity of the centuries old city declined through the years and it, quite eventually, became a unified diversity. This multiplicity is the focal of the colonial and the beauty of the modern Lahore.

British colonization of the subcontinent concluded in many great changes in the politics, governance, economics, psychology and society of the region. The transformation had its impact on one of the biggest and the most significant cities of United India but it could not, however, dampen the spirit of Lahore. Lahore was no less than a holy treasury for all those who came hunting for glory to the subcontinent, given its social and religious standing and political implication. It had always been the centre of culture and power but no foreign force could penetrate through its fabric as deep as did the British. After its annexation in 1849, Lahore soon became the frontier where met the two poles; The East and The West.

 

 

Communal Diversity: Influx

A seat of the old Rajput dynasty and the principal city of Punjab for centuries, Lahore which had gradually grown to grandeur, was made the headquarters of the colonized province. British troops were stationed in the city and it was made the administrative block of Punjab, from Khyber to Dehli. To establish the new administrative headquarters, Lahore lacked the appropriate machinery. The British, therefore, arranged for the movement of the people of skill into the city from all across Punjab, North India and even Bengal. This influx brought with it the flavor of diversity to the society of Lahore. Various communities with lingual and racial differences began to settle in, and with them began to dwell in their customs and ethnicity. Lahore was secondary to Amritsar in matters of commerce, but it served as a route for the traders pouring in from Central Asia. They came and encamped in the provincial capital of Punjab and added a new color to the social splendor of Lahore. These raiding forces sank in the strong spirit of the city and its people and soon it began to project an integrated pattern of various regions of the subcontinent. The modern Lahore holds this gift of the colonial era in a beautiful wrapping and so dearly that it is now its asset.

 

The Religious Sanctity: The Missionaries

The conquest of Lahore was, as evident by prior records, a milestone for the British and lead to a formidable foundation of yet another Red Coat colony in the face of Indian subcontinent. Seeing the roots of English monarchy strengthened in the region, there traveled groups of dedicated missionaries to the region. These passionate groups came from the West and stationed themselves in various parts of the subcontinent. They had come with a motive of conversion of locales to Christianity, and Lahore being the capital of Punjab became the centre of their activities. They began preaching to the poverty-stricken peopled of the conquered and destructed city. This ran a wave of insecurity and diffidence through the citizens. Lahore was held as a land of religious blessedness by all the three religious sets of Lahori population, the Muslims, the Sikhs and the Hindus. This unrest lead to launch of various movements by these communities for the protection of their beliefs. While the Khalsa and Arya Samaj rose to scene, many Muslim Tanzims and Anjumans took birth. By the end of the nineteenth century Lahore had become a theatre of war for the establishment of religious supremacy. Table was always set for debates for the religious ideas to win them.

 

The Sheher and The City

The cosmopolitan city of Lahore, diverse and multiple in religion, culture and ethnicity, saw some structural changes during the British era. The British developed a city in the hinterland of the centuries old fabled town. Outside the Sheher of dark stingy, narrow Mohallas where the sun never shone, lined with tall buildings with arched windows and painted glasswork, the vast courtyards and the crafted domes evolved a grand city with broad lanes, concrete pavements, huge buildings, large bungalows and the magnificent cantonment. The Sheher hustled with the ticking of Charkha and the noise of beggars and haggling vendors while The City echoed with orders for management of affairs through the day and the jazz during the late balls through the nights. So, the business brought the two poles together at some hour of the day and this interaction culminated in emergence of a rather amorphous society.

Lahore’s Literary Culture: The Colonial Impact

The cultural diversity of the subcontinent met the foreign thoughts and Western modernity in Lahore as the British education approached the exclusive class of students. The descendents of the mobile and diversified society became the administrative elites of Lahore as opera, play and novel began to replace Kavita, Katha, Ghazal, Nasar or Afsana. Brown skinned and dark headed clad in long coats and felt hats began to stagger through the narrow streets and march across the cemented walkways, frustrated by the narrowness of the bricked town and awed by the splendor of the cantonment. The ideas began to change and the concepts became questionable as they read the books provided the boards and press of Colonial Education.

“Form a class who may be interpreters between us, with and the millions whom we govern, a class of persons, Indians in blood and color, but English in taste, in opinion, in morals and in intellect.”

—Qtd. in Sulehri

The similar and dissimilar customs and perceptions became the food for thought when interacted the colonizer and he colonized. This was a different breed of Lahoris, the generation next to those whom calls the West as the rebels of 1857.

Lahore, which had always been the hub of culture and society, now became the home to literary clubs. The sun would set in the city for the residents to move into a circle of friends and folks to talk for hours over a mug of coffee or a cup of tea. Arguments would be exchanged in the Gol Bagh or during promenades across the Mall. When there would be no issue left to debate on, they would discuss the courtiers of Lear or comment on Hali’s Musaddas. Lahore is a city, and then it was becoming a city, where Shairi spills out in daily conversations.

 

Lahore is today the most culturally and ethnically diverse city of the country and its foundation was laid in the era of British colonization. Lahore holds a legacy of literary circles with the roots firm in the colonial period. The religious and spiritual picture of the ancient town is overlaid by the blend of diversity and modernity lent by the Colonial British Raj.