Pakistan’s 73rd Independence Day would be the first of its kind, and how
On August 14, Pakistan shall have completed 73 years of its existence. For once, putting all political and socio-economic issues (read crises) aside, this year looks like the first time when the country could be celebrating its Independence Day a bit, let’s say, ‘differently,’ insofar as the masses are concerned. Given the state of the pandemic — though, the numbers (of reported cases) have come down considerably and businesses are reopening — there is little chance of rowdy mobs, mostly the youths (manchalay, if you like), with their faces painted in the colours of the country’s flag, being allowed to unleash their silencer-free motor beasts on the city roads, much to the relief of the families out to partake in the day’s festivities.
Speaking of which, the Jashn-i-Azadi (Independence Day) celebrations actually begin early in the month of August, when the entire city wears green and white. In Anarkali and other marketplaces, little stalls pop up, offering Pakistan’s flags in different sizes, and straw hats and flyers which are painted in the twin colours of the flag. The festivities peak on the night of August 13, as people turn out to take good views of the public buildings that have been illuminated with colouful lightbulbs. On their way, they are greeted by huge hoardings on roadsides, offering tributes to the founder of the country, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, and other freedom movement leaders. This year, however, the roads are expected to be quieter, as a lot of people are still uncomfortable moving in large crowds.