As 14th of Aug is coming, you will see huge number of messages, facebook pages and websites about being proud Pakistani, there will be pictures of faces covered by flag paint, there will huge flags themselves. And as usual like anyother year we will keep liking them, forwarding them or commenting on them.
I invite you to do something different, that is write about Pakistan and increase Pakistan’s presence on electronic map.
There is extreme deficiency of information regarding Pakistan. Try searching any urdu poem, you will not find any reliable source and most probably you will not find the poem or ghazal if it is not famous. Try googling some Pakistani authors and search result will be useless, even Wikipedia will not be able to provide you any information e.g. search Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi and the Wikipedia page is quite pathetic for it. Bano Qudsia wikipage has less information than some semi famous English song, same is true for other authors.
Search some Pakistani song and you will not find it’s lyrics or information about who wrote it, who is musician, when it was recorded, etc…. Same is true about the Films and actors (Wahid Murad appears to be exception, whose Wikipedia page is quite detailed).
Try searching about 12 Oct. Army overtake by Musharaf, there is no information about timeline of events, look at Kashmir Earthquake you will not find about the huge effort done by people all around Pakistan.
And one can forget about any information regarding Pakistani politicians (except few top leaders) or finding about their voting record, career, political leanings, etc……
Just saying that people should know about Pakistan will not take us anywhere,.. most importantly we have to register this information for ourselves and our people.
So if you want to do something about Pakistan, pick your pen or you just pick your keyboard, write about your experience as Pakistani,
- Write about any Pakistani author you like or any book you have read
- if you can, pick a you-tube clip of some Pakistani drama and give it’s English subtitles
- Go to Wikipedia an write about the episodes of Sona-Chandi, Un-Kahi, ….. any drama you like.
- Make Wikipedia page about your school, your city, your street or shrine that exists on the corner
- Get information about who is your MNA, MPA, put it on Wikipedia.
- You are singing any Pakistani song or any ghazal, put it on the web, even if it is single verse
- You commonly read Ashfaq Ahmed‘s zavia, translate it into English, even if it single sentence.
- You like going to some cafe in Lahore, or visit some place in Karachi or Queta or some other small or big city, …… put it on Wikipedia. Get information and put it there.
- Blog about your experience of event in Pakistan
- write how you felt about earth quake and how Pakistani’s put their efforts together to help their citizens
- write how you felt when Musharaf took over the govt., write about timeline, whatever you remember, put it there. Or were you there when in Lahore high court, when Lahore was under siege during Lawyer movement, chronicle your experience. Or were you part of LUMS and FAST student protests against sacking of Chief Justice? give your day an e-life.
- What happened when floods engulfed huge chunk of Pakistan? put your thoughts in.
There is not much patriotic zeal in it as it might look, but what you are doing is making your country searchable. You are recording your history, your culture; in small little steps. These small not so important appearing information what makes culture. People write stories, dramas and make movies around these mundane appearing details. You are chipping away ignorance about Pakistan with your small electronic saber.
So pick up a week, lets say a 7th to 14th of Aug. and celebrate Write About Pakistan Week? we write about whether our writing is of good quality is not is another question but we write to take first step and then clean it up as we go.