Youth Are The Lifeline

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.

 

Remembering November The 3rd, 2007…

The Context: The credibility of General Pervez Musharraf had been rendered to an all time low by the decision of a larger bench of the Superme Court to reinstate the sacked Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohamma Chaudhry. Cases were filed in the Supereme Court against the holidng of dual offices on part of Mr. Musharraf, the result of which was about to come; not in affirmative for the Army Chief cum President, so believed many.

The Day: The dawn of November the 3rd, 2007 seen Gen. Pervez Musharraf declaring the state of Emergency where the constitution of 1973 was frozen, the judiciary suspended and a Provisional Constitutional Order was issued. More so,the coverage of all the national news and entertainment media channels were blocked in Pakistan besides strict directions were issued to the national newspapers warning them to refrain from publishing anything against the governmental policies. The day could well be termed as one of the most tragic in the political history of Pakistan as the basic rights of the citizenry of Pakistan were snatched by a cowardly millitiary ruler. The decision had to be opposed by the resiliant Pakistani masses and they did albeit the suppressive tactics by the milliatary tyrant at the helm. Students, journalists, laywers and the members of civil society rose for the restoration of the consitution. Political leaders like Imran Khan of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf took it upon himself to mobilize the youth which he did to a great success notwithstanding having been locked up.

What I felt: Like every patriotic pakistani I too wanted to do my bit in the mass campaign for the restoration of the rule of law. Barring participation in a few rallies and surviving an investigation about a black arm-band that I wore, I wrote the poem below which got published as well; to express what I was feeling at the time.

Bhalay Dino’n ki aas hay!

Yeh jabr ki faseel jo,
Kharhi hui hay chaar soo,
Yeh zulm ki kahania’n,
Jo meray aas paas hai’n,
Tho kya hua?
Hamari rooh-o-jaan may,
Bhalay dino’n ki aas hay,
Watan mera udaas hay.
Watan pay raaj kar rahi hay teergi,
Yeh teergi,
Jo roshni ki aik hi kiran,
Ko dekh kar hi apna khatma,
Karaigi,
Woh roshni,
Hamaray aas paas hay,
Awaam ka jo zoor hay,
Yeh waqt ka jo shoor hay,
Jamhooriat ki aor hay,
Yeh jabr ki faseel ab,
Gira keh hi rahaingay hum,
kahania’n yeh zulm ki,
Mita keh hi rahaingay hum,
Hamari rooh-o-jaan may,
Bhalay dino’n ki aas hay,
Watan mera udaas hay…
Watan mera udaas hay…

Translation

The walls of cruelty,
Standing all around us,
The stories of brutality,
Which are being played,
In our vicinities,
Are nothing!
As there resides a hope,
In our bodies and souls,
Of the better days to come,
Yes, my land is saddened,
By the ruling gloom,
The gloom!
We are sure will be doomed!
By seeing even a slightest,
Of the rays of light,
The light!
Is somewhere amongst us.
People; the powerful,
And time; the clamorous,
Are heading towards democracy,
The walls of cruelty,
Will be fallen down,
And the stories of brutality,
Will be wiped,
By us,
As there resides a hope,
In our bodies and souls,
Of the better days to come.

Today: We have got a democratic compensation but we are far far away from what is called a smooth national journey. From the look of things we have plunged even deeper to the void of uncertainity with a torn apart soveriegnity, poor law and order, food and energy cirises and so forth.The question of our survival has never been so fequently asked like todays conundrum.

What we require is the revival of the spirit that we exhibited back then during the black days of emergency. We must raise our voice against the ill-policies of our government towards combating terrorism. We must act as a pressure group to hold our leaders responsible for the decisions they are taking for it is the essence of democracy. I’m more than confident that the vibrant youth of Pakistan woudn’t let this country slip into the hands of obscurity.

Prayer For Tommorow: May Allah keep us united! May the name of Pakistan shine forever over the face of the globe! Amen!

Youth matters

Listening to a radio show last evening themed on the Pakistani youth I got flashes of the legions of youngsters that I come across every now and then in different job interview spots, waiting for their turns to be interviewed and grab whatever chances they are offered to be employed.
The glimpse that I mentioned above, to my knowledge, have multiple reasons behind it. There is an abundance of the talented graduates who have cropped out of the system but they cannot be absorbed in the job market accordingly. Graduates having studied subjects like literature in different languages, Islamic Studies and even social sciences to some extent aren’t accepted into the fold of companies rendering professional services. If they can’t be fitted into any of the professional organizations then why are they graduated in the first place? or why isn’t there something where they can be readily accepted to mature and groom?
The second mix of the individuals represent the higher numbers and can be found at most of the interview locations. Most of them serve in different capacities but aren’t satisfied with their present jobs most obviously due to their low remuneration packages against the ever increasing inflation. This portrays a darker picture of our failing economic system.
The last component of the desirers are the most unfortunate; the unemployed professional degree holders. They are the cream of our youth who are waiting to be given a chance to prove their mettle and if given proper opportunities they can prove the more uttered and less cared adage of our leaders, “ youth are the backbone of the nation “. I’ve rarely seen a job advertisement where there isn’t a demand of an individual without the column of ‘the professional experience’. How the hell would they acquire it when you aren’t ready to get them in?
While coming across the budding talent of Pakistani youth can be a source of pure contentment for an optimist one cannot deny the fact that our youth is fast disenchanting from the national matters courtesy their ill handling in our society. Brain drain is on rampant. There are serious issues to ponder on part of our policy makers lest we would be devoid of our hopes.

The unreasonable

“A reasonable man adapts himself to the world while an unreasonable man tries to adapt the world to himself, so all the the progress depends on the unreasonable men”
(George Bernard Shaw)

Its not just today,
That I’ve been scorned,
For venturing into,
A land; unseen.

That I’ve been contempted,
For deviating the norms,
Set by the normal beings.

I have been criticized,
And penalized,
For defying the logic,
Of the logical,
From eternity.

I’m endowed with instincts,
Of liberty; hence my evolution,
And evolution of the world,
That is dependent,
Over each of my deviation,
And each of my exploration,
Of all the unseen.

Yet there are those,
To whom I’m insane,
The ones, if I comply with,
Will embrace me,
But doing so,
Will be a disgrace,
On my part, to the instincts,
I carry; of liberty and creativity.

Thus, I’d gleefully take,
The tag of insane,
The unreasonable!