LAHORE: In a gesture of reverence and national pride, the government has once again declared November 9 a public holiday to commemorate Iqbal Day, honouring the memory of Allama Muhammad Iqbal, the national poet of Pakistan and a philosophical thinker whose vision played a crucial role in the country’s formation.
As the dawn breaks in Pakistan on November 9, 2023, the streets will be quieter, with schools, offices, and businesses closed, allowing the nation to reflect on the teachings and contributions of Iqbal.
The day will be marked by various literary and educational events, including poetry recitations, seminars, and exhibitions dedicated to Iqbal’s work, which continues to inspire the nation’s socio-political thought and cultural ethos.
This year’s celebration holds particular significance as it marks the centennial of Iqbal’s influential lecture series in 1922-23, which laid down the philosophical groundwork for the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent.
The government’s official notification for the holiday was released weeks in advance, ensuring that the public could adequately prepare for a day of commemoration. Educational institutions across the country organized special programs to educate the youth about Iqbal’s philosophy of self-reliance and his vision of an enlightened community.
“Iqbal Day is not just a holiday; it’s a day of introspection and inspiration,” said a government spokesperson during a ceremony in Lahore, Iqbal’s resting place. “We observe this day to remind ourselves of the ideals that led to our nation’s birth and to rekindle the spirit of ambition and innovation in our people.”
The nation will pay homage to its beloved poet, with the resolve to carry forward his legacy into the future. The day’s events echoed Iqbal’s message of hope and self-actualization, a message that remains as relevant today as it was a century ago.