Narrative! The most confusing notion is manipulated for the attainment of terrible deeds. Decades have passed to understand this notion, with every time, failed attempt, juggling from one meaning to another in polar opposition. These confusing scuffles started with the very first speech of the founder of the country to the First Constituent Assembly. To our misfortune, we still do not have a single Ph.D. on him who may claim authority on his account. Not because we don’t have resources but because we are still not learned enough to digest the human characters as a mere human being. Our keenness to fabricate a divine persona out of a prominent personality demonstrates our unwillingness for learning from the odds.
For the last few years, we enter into a new phase after every year with the same ambush between the old and the new Pakistan. God knows whether it would or would not become either the ”State of Madina“ or ”The Quaid-e-Azam’s Pakistan“ we really cannot afford any experimental adventure on ideological grounds. We need to come out of our dogmatized ideologue which gave us nothing but bigotry. Don‘ t forget that bigotry always begets bigotry, even if it is the State of Madina. That’s why perhaps that even Prophet Mohammad ( ﷺ ) himself had to cope with such situations and hold brotherhood sessions among believers to establish respect and love for each other.
Respecting diversity among individuals is not a craft but a virtue attended through character building. Certainly, character building is not statecraft but the responsibility of individuals to nurture their children with the appetite of peace and honor for the diversified individual entities around them. But how can one expect such miracle from folks who spent their lives in utter ignorance, unless they are rescued from the influence of bigots, that poses skill of extracting spirituality out of hate? The recent outbreak of pandemic has proven that how deep this hate matrix has constructed a mindset where a virus has been identified with sectarian bonding.
For decades we observe rather mourn on tragic episodes presented by bigotry, sometimes through some posts on social media, news tickers or somewhere else with emotional speech sessions, yet thinning the root cause of horror manipulated by a confused narrative of the state, against quite a clear narrative of fanatic baptism, firmly aimed at easy access to a next mourn.
It is a hurtful apprehension that our generation is evident of matchless violence in the form of terrorism, crimes, injustice, oppression, social dissonance, intolerance, bullying, and exploitation, manufactured on the lathe of bigotry.
The majority of our people live in a state of paranoia and distrust, struggling for bare survival. This social disorder and confusion in society are affecting the children of utmost damaging their innocent minds with much severity. Since the children have a high tendency to engross the spirit of violence, this often captivates fascination that will crop the next generation perpetrators of violence.
While coping with the worse, the contribution of law enforcement agencies including the Pakistan Armed Forces is undoubtedly remarkable, yet this does not cover all we need for a peaceful and prosperous society. We may need to redefine our narrative of defense if we are seeking a peaceful and tolerant society which is not possible unless we consider education as the strategic depth and craft teaching and learning as the first line of defense.
Peace won’t happen until we nurture peace values in the hearts of our children. What we need to explore and implement with its very true spirit, are the prospects for integration of peace values in the formal education covering the whole process i.e. curriculum development, teacher‘s education, especially cognitive and professional development of ”Teachers“ need to be addressed seriously and teacher’s recruitment policies are needed to be made in line with aptitude and attitude of peacebuilding and tolerance.
In our existing education, the paucity of critical pedagogy to create respect for ethnic diversity, interfaith harmony, and tolerance are ignored as a non-issue. Even the available contents for the cognitive development of pupils are not properly transferred to students because the teacher’s training lacks the holistic professional development approach.
The training programs designed for teacher’s professional development are more focused on their skill development and not cognitive development that creates behavioral issues in teachers. Eventually, the personal beliefs of a teacher influence the teaching activity at the cost of exterminating children‘ s critical thinking.
A comprehensive examination process is thus needed to be designed for scrutiny and recruitment of teachers because mere knowledge of the subject and teaching techniques are insufficient prerequisites for a good teacher, whom we expect to develop an appetite for peace.
As a nation, we must realize now that the deficit of a comprehensive educational narrative, shall certainly be paid back by the lynching mobs and mindless throngs, flooding from Schools, colleges, and universities, whatsoever, how much we sentimentalize the Idea of the ”State of Madina“.