I am posting here an old essay of mine that I wrote back in 2011 but the relevance of which cannot be denied in today’s or future Pakistan, though the relevance and importance of a young population could spring hopes of a better future anywhere in the world.
A French proverb goes like ‘youth lives on hope, old age on remembrance’. Here we would discuss in detail the first part of the French wisdom that is universal in soul and has proven right time and again.
The evolution and progress of societies need solid grounds i-e the strength of population, the economic resources, cohesion etc. Today’s world that is massively populous, less ethical and dangerously power-centric, is a practical example of Herbert Spencer’s coined phrase of ‘the survival of the fittest’. Hence for a given society to survive and thrive, it must have a well managed and conspicuous chunk of youth population, for youth are the most potential and capable of all the segments of a society.
In the above context, the struggle for the independence of Pakistan was the fruition of the efforts of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan who channelized the energies of the Muslim youth through the Aligarh Tehreek. Allama Mohammad Iqbal deemed the awakening of the Muslim youth to be the only way out of the British and Hindu manipulation. He did stir that hope in the Muslim youth, hence the creation of Pakistan.
The preservation of independence they say, is the hardest part. Sadly enough the post independence era in Pakistan saw the demise or ageing of the stalwarts of the Pakistan movement and there was no next breed of the erstwhile inspired youth to carry the country through to progress and prosperity. Men with myopic vision and unsatiable lust for power took reigns one after the other squandering a significant part of the country in the process.
Yet Pakistan emerged out of many a catastrophe mainly courtesy the vibrancy of its youth. Were it not for the valiance of its Jawans in the war of 1965, Pakistan could so easily be a victim to the whims of the neighbor. The devastating earth quake of 2005 saw the emergence of a new, refreshing face of the Pakistani youth who employed all their capacities to help the earth-quake stricken stand on their feet. Be it helping the war-hit IDPs or the flood affectees, we have numerous examples of the sincerity and capability of the Pakistani youth to transform despair into hope.
Pakistan is fortunate in a way as to have a youth population of more than 50 percent, larger than any other neighboring country. If properly channelized and groomed it could make wonders. Today when Pakistan is caught in the worst internal and external crises, one finds hope to see the organized bodies of the Pakistani youth on the social networking websites and their activism on roads to help bring positive change in the society. In the prevalent gloom if the national horizon flashes with any light they are the silver lines drawn by the brilliance of youth.