“Youth is the spirit of adventure and awakening. It is a time of physical emerging when the body attains the vigor and good health that may ignore the caution of temperance. Youth is a period of timelessness when the horizons of age seem too distant to be noticed.” Ezra Taft Benson
‘Youth’ defines the group of individual between childhood and adulthood in a state, a nation, or a country. Though there are differences between the definitions of ‘youth’ across the globe. Likewise United Nations (UN)-an international organization- defines Youth as an age group from fifteen to twenty-four, while some nations have dragged the limit to even forty. Furthermore, for some intellectuals the word ‘Youth’ represents the new, and sometimes novice too, people in departments or organization, or the injection of new faces irrespective of their ages. But this definition has many critics to get overall public disclosure. Disregarding all this, youth is rendering their services to their families, society and nation and is considered as the driving force in the current course, and in shaping destination of a nation. So the role of youth is unavoidable in national building and prosperity.
“The youth is the hope of our future.” Jose Rizal Going through the annals of history, one does not have to look far behind the division of subcontinent to witness the role of youth in nation making. Talking about Pakistan side, it was a result of relentless and unceasingly efforts Muslim student federation (MSF) of its part, notably for Islamia College and Agha khan university, that the nation in the abyss of despair and frustration turned into an electrifying and energetic nation, a nation with implacable determination to achieve their separate motherland . These young students shoulder the responsibility for spreading the notion of freedom to every nook and cranny even the far off areas at the expense of their vacations. Students rendered valuable service in disseminating the message of freedom and separate homeland on the doorsteps of every Muslim. Although there are cynics who believe that students should not participate in politics.
But one does not have to belabor the point that in case of dire need or crisis, as in freedom or other social reform movements, it is imperative for young lot to lead the way in practical field, to muster as much support as the can for their cause; instead to staying back and waiting for things to happen on its own. The recent upheavals in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Bahrain, Libya and Yemen, known as ‘Arab Spring’, were also the result of public uprising against autocratic government with youth among the leading actors of the movement. On both occasion- Pakistan freedom and Arab Spring- it is pertinent to mention that the youth wing was more pervasive in running the movements while senior leaders pull the strings from behind i.e. via speeches and dictations to their young workers to maneuver the things to their advantage. So the youth proves much needed impetus and punch to achieve a nation the precious goals which have everlasting effects on its course onwards.
Our founding father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and National poet, Allama Muhammad Iqbal had high hope from our youth. Iqbal gave the message of self-esteem and devotion to the youth through his poetry, and convince the nation that Islam is panacea of all social ailments of Muslims while Quaid gave the directives and guidance about how to implement these teachings pragmatically in one’s life. The prime responsibility of the youth is to seek education so that they can serve their nation as a better citizen in the future and can easily adjust in the running economy of the country. On this note, the onus to provide youth with modern world education falls on the parents and government equally. The populace in rural areas, in general, around the world, and in particular, in developing countries remains substantially illiterate. Illiteracy will not only produce laymen and unskilled generation but will also burden the nation’s economy. So availability of skilled and educated youth is inevitable for roadmap to national development.
US tops the list of countries with highest money per individual spend on education, a point to ponder upon for developing states that if they want to keep pace with the modern world they have to invest heavily on education. Otherwise there are glaring examples of chronic malnutrition, chaos and mayhem in sub-Sahara countries if resources at the disposal are not utilized handsomely. Young generation should be patriot and prefer national goals over personal goals. They should neither indulge themselves in needless rifts of sects, race or religion, nor take part in any social or political conspiracy. For them everyone who is citizen of the country should be equal irrespective of caste, color and creed. When Islam has not differentiated between Muslims on the bases of physical appearance, then who are we to differentiate in the name of religion? Similarly Islam has set rights of non-Muslims in Muslims society so we should respectfully follow the basic tenets of Islam.
On equal note, Young generations should avoid from biased and prejudiced opinions and views regarding any community. If we follow the basic values of our religion fervently, it will not only solve our many social disputes but will also earn a good name in International community which, at present, is notoriously highlighted in news for atrocities against minorities. So the youth can shut the doors of sectarianism and ethnicity which has handicapped the peace of the region (Middle East) for decades. Coming to the present age of globalization the importance of youth has increased manifolds on socio-economic front.
Due to their enthusiasm and energetic outlook it can be used as a dynamic force in national building and prosperity. Now the duty falls on the government to capitalize on this precious human resource aptly. The importance of youth can be judged by the factor that owing to the slow population growth in rich countries like European Nations (EU) leave them with no other choice but to ease out the policies on influx of immigrants to provide them with more labor force to run their economy and also more tax payers in the national fold. Therefore youth should be given the status they deserve so that youth can perform up to their potential in national progress.
The youth can play its part in the apex level of administration if given opportunity to flux their muscles in legislation, Crime controlling bodies and governance. The youth is a symbol of vigor and zeal. The intermingling of youth with experienced hands can make more effective workforce with young blood eagerness, fervor in dealing the situation along with experienced hands provide the finishing punch by their knowledge and worthwhile suggestions. Leaders whom we embrace as our founding fathers and whose names are enshrined in the course books, utilized the immense talent which the youth garners and channeled it in the best possible way to carve their goals. In present age the youth is circumspect in acting and pursuing the way they can due to dominance of aged lot. Though there is no alternative for experience still injecting young blood at high level will provide the impetus in work and also act as a tool to abolish corruption and other abuses of society.
The youth force can make administration issues public and more transparent which under the conventional politicians are brushed under the carpet to retain their hegemony and political clout. “The duty of youth is to challenge corruption.” Kurt Cobain Pakistan is among the top in countries list with biggest portion of emigrants. Reasons are stagnant economy to accommodate the growing populace, political turmoil, social restlessness, menace of terrorism and many more. This brain draining has haunted to country economy badly, not only in Pakistan but in other developing states as well. To put dent on this trend developing nations have to build infrastructures which can give youth with employments at home and country with fresh blood filled with new ideas and innovations. Obvious example is China which made the most of its world largest population by building infrastructure and deploying its population as an engine to register unbelievable double digit economic growth rate.
So providing the youth with opportunities will definitely play a positive role in economic as well as social arena. The progress of youth in nation is also hindered by other social abuses like corruption. Corruption is the bane of society in developing nations. There are many forms of corruption but the forms that impede the youth are nepotism and favoritism in appoints. The criteria of selection are references and public relations rather than merit and relevance of personal skills and experience with that of job requirements. This social disparity coupled with lack of jobs force the youth either to pursue others means which at times are illicit- smuggling, trafficking etc- and sometimes even more evil- like theft, kidnapping for ransom etc. So leaving youth unbridle and uncontrolled on their own will be like letting this precious treasure at the disposal of outer world to lure them in their development wagon, or in nefarious designs like terrorism. So this dynamic force if falls victim of negligence can play havoc in the society.
There are also some limitations in the ranks of youth as well, which are natural at tender age due to inexperience, and can be tackled with watching over the activities of youth meticulously. While youth are facing the challenges of HIV/AIDS, unemployment, underemployment, fever or non-representation in apex positions; and at the same time they are fragile and vulnerable so can easily be poisoned by hostile or aggressive speeches and notorious designs. In present world the recruitment of terrorist suicide bomb attackers are majorly due to the fact that exploiters take advantage of this susceptibility by brainwashing the young minds and inculcating their own brand of ideas. Pakistan is burning in the flames of terrorism with work force of terrorism outfits recruiting form the local madrasas and tribal areas sets a dangerous precedence of brutality and massacre of public by its own natives.
Until the government will not take stern steps to inculcate sense of patriotism in its people and to make economic reforms to incorporate natives, even in far off areas, in national economic folds; the aboriginals will continue to provide much needed fuel to the terrorism outfits and the country will continue to suffer. In this cyber world young generation made themselves readily adhere to foreign culture and customs, which may be alien to native people, in the notion of fashion. This practice is common throughout the globe but to curtail this encroachment of local culture to some limit is inevitable. Different nations have adopted different methods. China chose to control the broadcast of foreign TV channels and also social media in their country. Pakistan banned the Indian channel star plus after experiencing its impacts on our youth. Other chose to leave it to the audience to decide their way of living, like Western liberal nations. Different nations have different dimensions, different styles and so different standards and parameters to deal with a situation.
In Pakistan the youth is illiterate, if literate, unskilled to meet the standard of market. Jobs are few and candidates are many which leave many under-employed, un-employed. Those who can afford to fly abroad leave the country. Others indulge themselves in cheap exercises causing bizarre and social turmoil. To counter this menace and to channel the youth energies on righteous trace there are a few suggestions to implement in Pakistan. To utilize the youth force more effectively one has to invest on it to bear fruits in the future. Owing to the fact that young generation needs guidance in deciding in which field they should pursue which will correlate with their mentality and expertise, government should initiate a scheme of compulsory guidance council for every education institute who would keep a vigilant eye on performance of each and every student so that they can give a professional advice on passing out from the institution.
This will greatly reduce the number of failures in exams and save valuable time of students in unnecessary switching over from one study program to another. As majority of population is illiterate so to accommodate them in the economic folds dissemination of skills through workshops and seminars in all strata of society can get desired results as a short term plan. While for long term plan investments should be made on new education institutes which will yield a literacy rate above 95% as in developed countries. For the young lot who are already seeking education. There should be culture of voluntary work in the school and college going students. This trend has not taken its roots in Pakistan in Pakistan while in other countries ‘youth work’ has been enacted an implement long before like in Germany in Nazi regime and in Ireland at present.
The ‘youth work’ experience will benefit society and doer equally. It will utilize young’s energy in the best possible way and will also enhance student’s knowledge about the society. The exposure one gets by field work opens up many dimensions of thinking and meditation that one can’t get with text books. So there is a need of inculcating this idea of ‘youth work’ in young generation. In a nutshell, young generation has power to change the course of a nation. They should be patriotic, honest, unbiased and devoted citizen of the nation. In modern world utilization of potential of the youth is imperative for them to perform as responsible citizen. So the duty falls equally on states to ensure optimal usage of human resources by facilitating them with modern tools and deploying them in national grid otherwise this precious resource will be employed by extreme elements or will shift from here to facilitate the development of foreign states.