We Should Rename Lahore Airport After Babe Bulle Shah
One of the most interesting aspects of any discussion, on television channels, in classrooms, or among friends and the general public, is the inevitable question that always arises: “But what the solution?” There is a certain amusement in the speculation that one person may hold the key to unlocking the progress that an entire nation is seeking. It seems that, by merely presenting this elusive solution, a country like Pakistan can suddenly advance in leaps and bounds.
This scenario happened recently during a spirited debate at a friend’s house, where the perennial question came up again – why is Pakistan lagging behind India despite gaining independence simultaneously? My answer, delivered with a touch of wry humor, was brief: “The day our Punjabi brothers decide to rename the Allama Iqbal Airport after Baba Bulle Shah, Pakistan will find the its true direction, and our fundamental problems will begin to fade away.”
Before partition, the Indian subcontinent boasted a rich tapestry of cultures, traditions, and history spanning millennia. The roots of the region’s civilization can be traced back to ancient times, with various empires, dynasties, and cultures leaving indelible impressions on the land. With the advent of British colonial rule, the subcontinent underwent major changes, leading to the struggle for independence that ultimately resulted in the creation of India and Pakistan.
India has managed to maintain a strong connection with its historical and cultural heritage despite the challenges posed by colonization and partition. The country’s commitment to preserving various traditions, languages, and historical landmarks has played an important role in shaping its national identity. The continuation of ancient practices, such as yoga, Ayurveda, and classical arts, not only preserves cultural wealth but also contributes to India’s soft power on the global stage.
In contrast, Pakistan, upon gaining independence, faced the challenge of defining its identity. In the process, there has been a remarkable delinking from the rich historical, cultural, and traditional fabric that existed before 1947. This separation from its diverse past has, to some extent, hindered Pakistan’s ability to achieve the pre-independence heritage as a source. of energy and inspiration.
Analyzing the essence of this seemingly strange proposition reveals a profound truth. Changing the name of the airport means more than a change in nomenclature; it will symbolize a conscious effort by our Punjabi brothers and sisters to embrace their history, language, and heritage. This seemingly simple act has the potential to improve the connection between people and the land they live on for centuries.
The crux of the matter lies in the fact that, for many, an important incident in 1947 inadvertently led to being cut off from their roots. Finding identity in foreign lands, especially in regions such as Arabia, Turkey, and Central Asia, has become a trend. However, by honoring Baba Bulle Shah in renaming the airport, a powerful statement will be made – a commitment to recognize and preserve the historical and cultural tapestry that has defined the region for centuries. .
Pakistan, upon gaining independence, faced the challenge of defining its identity. In the process, there was a remarkable delinking from the rich historical, cultural, and traditional fabric that existed before 1947.
In essence, this work is more than symbolism; it represents a re-claiming of identity, a denial defined only by the events of 1947. It is a step towards reconnecting with the core of the earth, its stories, and the various cultures that thrived on it. By electing Baba Bulle Shah, a renowned Sufi poet, the Punjabi community not only honors its cultural and literary heritage, but also strengthens a sense of belonging beyond political boundaries.
The consequences of such a move are far-reaching. Embracing history, language, and heritage is not just a nostalgic indulgence; it is a fundamental step towards promoting unity and understanding among the various communities that make up the fabric of Pakistan. Therefore, the solution may not be a magic formula, but rather a series of intentional actions that collectively contribute to reclaiming a shared identity and a renewed sense of purpose.
The essence behind my proposal to rename Lahore airport is to convey a profound message – a call for our Punjabi brothers and sisters to reclaim their elders, language, and literature. In doing so, it is not only an act of self-praise, but also an encouragement for the Sindhis, Baloch, Pashtun, and other ethnic groups to equally embrace their mother tongues, history, and rich cultural tradition.
This seemingly straightforward move holds the potential to catalyze a transformative ripple effect across the country. By developing a deep connection with their roots, Pakistanis from all regions organically develop a deep sense of ownership of their land and all that it contains. It is a plea for every community to recognize the intrinsic value of their cultural tapestry, the stories embedded in their languages, and the wisdom embedded in their customs and traditions.
The concept is simple but very impactful – a collective recognition and celebration of the diverse threads that unite the fabric of Pakistan. When Punjabi, Sindhi, Balochi, and Pashto cultures are not only recognized but cherished, it paves the way for a harmonious coexistence. This process of cultural recovery is not about eliminating diversity but celebrating it, recognizing the richness that each community brings to the national table.
As Punjabis embrace Baba Bulle Shah, Sindhis celebrate Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, Balochi honor Mir Gul Khan Nasir, and Pashtuns revere Khushal Khan Khattak, a sense of pride will emerge, uniting the country. This pride is not limited to linguistic or regional identity; it came to a collective ownership in Pakistan. The land has become more than a geographic entity; it became a sacred land, cherished and protected by its people.
Baba Bulle Shah stands as a revered figure throughout Punjab, which straddles India and Pakistan. Extending a collective hug to him from the Pakistani side will send a powerful message – that beyond geographical boundaries, his timeless message of peace and love resonates deeply on both sides of the divide.
The existence of the state of Pakistan is an acknowledged reality, firmly rooted and irreversible. Acknowledging and honoring Baba Bulle Shah within this context can serve as a catalyst for a narrative transformation. For Pakistani segments, it has become a stepping stone to eliminate insecurities and identity crises that may plague them, fostering a sense of acceptance and pride in their cultural heritage.
When citizens take ownership of their country, they are naturally inclined to contribute to its development. It changed the perception of Pakistan from an entity given to them without effort to a collective project that required dedication, contribution, and shared responsibility.
At the same time, the resonance of Baba Bulle Shah’s teachings can serve as a deep call across the border. It becomes an invitation for those on the other side to prioritize peace and prosperity over jingoism and uncertainty. Embracing the shared cultural heritage, embodied by this revered figure, can transcend political differences, serving as a bridge to promote mutual understanding and cooperation.
In essence, the recognition of the universal message of Baba Bulle Shah can be a unifying force, transcending the political fields that divide Punjab. It symbolizes a shared commitment to the values of peace, love, and cultural harmony, reinforcing the idea that despite geopolitical differences, a common cultural heritage unites its people. that region.
When citizens take ownership of their country, they are naturally inclined to contribute to its development. It changed the perception of Pakistan from an entity given to them without effort to a collective project that required dedication, contribution, and shared responsibility. The struggle for development has ceased to be an obligation and has become a personal commitment, a shared vision that unites Pakistanis from all walks of life.
Renaming an airport is not a superficial change of name; it symbolizes a change in thinking. It is an invitation for every Pakistani to embrace their identity, language, and history, fostering a collective sense of belonging that is the basis of a prosperous and united nation. This small but powerful act has the potential to ignite a national spirit that transcends borders, uniting diverse populations under the banner of a truly owned and cherished Pakistan.